In the wake of June’s worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, the need for diverse representation in media has never been more apparent. For some voice actors like Big Mouth’s Jenny Slate, this meant stepping down from voicing black characters in order to allow more room for black voice actors. For shows, the protests prompted producers to take a hard look at the adequacy of the diversity and representation among their own castings— and proceed with upheavals as necessary.
In August, The Bachelorette announced Tayshia Adams as the franchise’s first black bachelorette, and this week, Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York revealed Eboni K. Williams will be joining its cast in replacement of Dorina Medley, who announced she would be leaving the show after six seasons.
“NYC is filled with successful and dynamic Black women. I’m excited to join this legendary franchise as the first Black housewife,” Williams told Page Six. “Can’t wait to share a slice of life in this city that hasn’t been seen before. Anyone who’s aware of my work knows I don’t hold back. I’m going to keep it just as real here as I do everywhere else.”
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images
In addition to being the first black cast member, Williams is breaking down another of the show’s barriers by being an unmarried ‘housewife.’ Williams will be joining RHONY vets Luann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, Leah McSweeney and Sonja Morgan for the show’s 13th season.