‘Pump Rules’ Star Billie Lee Explains Why The Show Shouldn’t Be Axed As Fans Call For Its Cancellation
Despite the firing of four ‘Vanderpump Rules’ cast members over past racial issues, former star Billie Lee says that Bravo needs to stick with the show thanks to the co-stars who celebrate diversity.
The show must go on! That’s the opinion of former Vanderpump Rules star Billie Lee in the wake of Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni being let go from the show after past racial remarks came to light. The transgender SUR hostess feels that Bravo should definitely keep VPR going amid calls to cancel it. She says that there are still great people among the current cast who now can get more camera time and story lines. Billie tells HollywoodLife.com in an EXCLUSIVE interview which stars should get more attention.
“To be honest, there are amazing people on that show that celebrate Black people and celebrate Black lives and LGBTQ people. Those people need to have more camera time — Tom (Sandoval), Ariana (Maddix), James (Kennedy) & Raquel (Leviss), Scheana (Shay). They go above and beyond for me,” Billie explains to us. However, some fans of the show think that at this point, Bravo should just cancel Vanderpump Rules altogether.
A number of fans took to Twitter after the June 9 firings, saying other cast members have also had incidents of terrible behavior in the past. User @grac3_rund3lli tweeted, “As someone who LOVES Vanderpump Rules and loved Stassi, yes she deserved to be fired but honestly at this point they should just cancel the show and it seems odd that they are cherry picking who in the cast to fire when they have all done f**ked up things.” Fan @caitlingilbs tweeted, “GOOD for Bravo for firing Kristen and Stassi but why not just cancel Vanderpump Rules? As much as I love it, every single one of them have exhibited problematic behavior (except maybe Ariana?) and we don’t need more.”
Stassi and Kristen were let go after former VPR star Faith Stowers — the show’s only Black cast member who appeared in seasons four and six — recalled a story of how they had called the police on her in 2018, when authorities were searching for a female African-American suspect who had allegedly been drugging and robbing men. Stassi admitted to it in a podcast interview at the time, and Kristen tweeted a photo of the suspect and made hints about Faith.
Two days before they were fired on June 9, both Stassi, 31, and Kristen, 37, issued lengthy apologies. Stassi wrote that, “Racially insensitive comments from my past have resurfaced. It is important that I continue to take accountability for what I have said and done, while pushing myself to do better.” Stassi added, “I am also sorry to anyone else that feels disappointed in me. I am going to continue to look closer at myself and my actions — to take the time to listen, to learn, and to take accountability for my own privilege.” Billie has some thoughts on what the ladies had to say, and believes their “privilege” is what ultimately did them in.
“I do believe that they’re sorry. But they’re just more sorry that they got caught and that they’re losing everything and losing opportunity,” Billie explains. Not only were they fired fromVPR, Stassi lost her partnerships with shaving brand Billie and vitamin startup Ritual. Her podcast Straight Up With Stassi has also been pulled from all streaming platforms.
“My whole struggle and this happened with girls going in, there just was so much privilege that they weren’t even aware to take a step back and go, ‘Wow! This could make a trans person feel like this if I didn’t include them,’ or, ‘This could make a black person like this,’ or ‘If I call the police on someone, a black woman could get killed.’ They’re just so unattached and so unaware and so self involved and that’s what I kept on stressing,” Billie reveals. Now Stassi and Kristen have plenty of reflection time.
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