The Real Colorism Of 'Potomac'

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- Real Housewives of Potomac -
The Real Colorism Of 'Potomac'

Since its premiere in 2016, the Real Housewives of Potomac has gone places no other city in the franchise has. (And I’m not talking about the driveway of Gizelle’s soon-to-be-finished home.) The show continuously explores the Black experience, wealth within the Black community, Black beauty standards, and even mental health and the community’s stigma attached to it. The dynamic between the women has always given off sister vibes, which has made it more fun to watch. It can be funny, it can be light, and overall, a good comfortable watch. However, the blatant issue of colorism and double standards toward dark-skinned cast members from both the fans and some of the cast members needs to be heard.

Because the thing is, it has been brought up. It has been discussed, but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in. The topic comes up, it’s given a little space, and then it just… goes away. No one takes accountability, no one hears the other side, and we’re left in the same space we started. Over the last two seasons, we haven’t moved forward at all when it comes to acknowledging that colorism exists on and off the stage.

In Season 5, however, when Wendy Osefo had a heated moment with Ashley over not being able to bring her daughter to a lake house getaway where Ashley brought her son, Dean, Ashley called Wendy aggressive and "ferocious." The comments gained traction outside of the show and were addressed at the Season 5 reunion. While the conversation at the reunion allowed the women to address (and at least recognize, even if forced by Andy) the darker-skinned cast member’s concerns (Wendy expressed the way certain words act as dog whistles to viewers to open the floodgates for criticism towards the darker-skinned cast members), it was still a very contentious conversation. And a few months later, cast members Robyn Dixon and Gizelle Bryant went on to dismiss Candiace Dillard Basset's feelings surrounding colorism on their press tour for their podcast, saying, “It was stupid.”

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