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Andy Cohen Breaks His Silence on Recent ‘Reality Reckoning’: ‘I Know What the Truth Is’

By Emma Chance | TV | May 8, 2024 |

By Emma Chance | TV | May 8, 2024 |


Between numerous lawsuits alleging all manner of sexual harassment and misconduct, it’s been a rough few months for Bravo and its darling, Andy Cohen. The latest is ex-New York City Housewife Leah McSweeney painting Cohen as a debauched, drug-using, party boy who enjoys inappropriate relationships with his favorite stars and cultivates a toxic, substance-fueled culture at the network.

“There’s not a lot of room for nuance these days,” Cohen began a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter. “We are living in an outrage culture now, and everyone has had to adapt to that.” In response to criticism of “pervasive racism” on sets, he passed the buck to his seniors, saying he’s “proud of all the work that Bravo has put into making their shows more representative of the country’s demographics,” and “They decided that there needed to be more representation across the dial. And they did it.”

As for McSweeney’s allegations of alcoholism being encouraged, he said “We have so many sober people and people who have gotten sober on the show … We have people who’ve never had a drink during the entire run of the show … So sure, there are people who drink. There are many people who never drink. We don’t force anyone to do anything. But no one is secretly hiding liquor bottles on set. That’s ridiculous. We’ve been very supportive of people’s sobriety.” His interviewer pushed him, saying “Bravo wouldn’t be the first network to use liquor to gin up some drama,” but he wouldn’t have it.

“We don’t need to gin up drama! Have you seen Ramona Singer on a random Tuesday at 1 p.m.? Have you ever run into Lisa Rinna at noon? Lisa Rinna does not need a glass of rosé in order to tell you exactly how she is feeling. Margaret Josephs only drinks Diet Coke, and she is a truth cannon wherever she goes. I don’t think Teresa Giudice would say that it was the red wine that caused her to flip that table!”

When asked about Bethenny Frankel’s “reality reckoning” and calls for unionization, he made it clear he did not speak for the network:

“I need to make it clear that I’m speaking as an independent producer. This is not Bravo speaking. This is my take on it,” he said. “You don’t go to school to be a reality star. Reality stars typically have other jobs. They’re bar owners, they’re designers. They’re doctors. I think the way that Bravo pays people is that it’s a buyout—they’re buying them out for a show that can be distributed in certain ways, and the longer you stay on, the higher your salary gets. And salaries for people who have been on a long time are really high.”

Of his feud with Frankel he said, “Obviously, it’s no fun to be a target. So, yes, it’s hurtful. But I have no regrets about the way I’ve handled anything … I know what the truth is and I know how I’ve conducted myself, and I will walk tall every day on that.”

But the smartest thing he said in the whole interview (at least in my opinion) was his answer to the secret of the Housewives brand success: “People really like judging other people. It’s that simple.”