Reality-TV star Lisa Vanderpump, who saw four "Vanderpump Rules" cast members fired by Bravo and the show's production company following racist behavior, issued a statement Wednesday that did not sit well with some fans.
"Over the past two weeks, many things have been brought to my attention, of which I and many others were previously unaware," the London-born Los Angeles restaurateur, 59, said in an Instagram statement. "It was necessary for me to be quiet until now, until decisions had been made. Now I can freely speak from the heart."
Calling herself "deeply saddened by some of the lack of judgment that has been displayed," without specifying by whom, Vanderpump said, "I have always been an equal rights activist and ally — my family, my businesses and I condemn all forms of cruelty, racism, homophobia, bigotry and unequal treatment. We've never tolerated it in the workplace or our lives. While you only see a fraction of our employees on the show," an unscripted soap opera set at SUR and her and husband Ken Todd's other restaurants, her company as a whole has "always been a very diverse group of people — every color, ethnicity and sexual orientation," she said.
Vanderpump does not name longtime cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, who were fired by the cable network Bravo and the production company Evolution Media on Tuesday. The two women, as a prank, had falsely reported African American cast member Faith Stowers to police after learning of a different black woman who was wanted for theft. Schroeder and Doute subsequently apologized.
Vanderpump also does not mention newly terminated cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, who had apologized in January after racist tweets from 2012 surfaced but were not fired at the time.
"We all have work to do to create a society we can be proud of," she concluded, "and I hope as we venture forward, we strive to live in a world where kindness and compassion are our highest values."
Commenters on her Instagram feed appeared overwhelmingly unimpressed. "How were you unaware? You're an executive producer," wrote one. Said another, "You had months to say something and didn't until [your] hand was forced by the network. … You've passively supported homophobia and racism for years just to make a profit. It's disingenuous. At least be honest." Wrote a third, "Can't believe you're patting yourself on the back when you've demonstrated problematic behavior (ie crafting a whitewashed, transphobic, racist cast) instead of actually APOLOGIZING…."
One wrote succinctly, "Bye bye vanderpump rules."