‘RHONY’ star Luann de Lesseps faces backlash for blackface costume
The reality star insists she didn't mean any harm when she dressed up as Diana Ross for Halloween.
Real Housewives of New York City star Luann de Lesseps landed in hot water when viewers saw her Diana Ross costume on the show’s premiere Wednesday night.
The former contessa showed up to her Dorinda Medley‘s Halloween party dressed as Diana Ross, wearing a white jumpsuit, huge Afro wig, and a noticeably darker shade of makeup.
“I’m Diana Ross because she’s fabulous,” she boasted on the show. “Tom is not in tow, so I’m feeling liberated. It’s been a while since I’ve felt my girl power.”
Her castmate Carole Radziwill, noted she felt the ensemble was “disrespectful.”
“Something’s a little off about Luann’s costume,” Radziwill, 54, told the cameras.“I think she’s tone-deaf when it comes to cultural stereotypes. She’s generally tone-deaf anyway.”
Moments after the troubled housewife who was recently arrested for disorderly intoxication, battery on an officer/firefighter/EMT, resisting arrest with violence and threatening a public servant appeared on the small screen in a Diana Ross costume, folks took to Twitter to call her out.
— Stephe Thornton.👩🏾💻📒🖊🍋 (@DynasticStephe) April 5, 2018
Aside from the bad costume and worse wig, her altered complexion was the main issue raised, although the reality star insisted she didn’t use blackface.
By the time Watch What Happens Live aired, host Andy Cohen was ready to take her to task for the outfit choice.
“I’m horrified. I never meant to hurt anybody’s feelings. I love Diana Ross and I totally respect Diana Ross. It was really kind of a tribute to her,” Luann de Lesseps said on WWHL.
“I had bronzer on, that I wear normally, like the rest of my skin — I’m tan right now…So I didn’t add anything, or try to ever, ever dream of doing a blackface, ever,” she continued. “I’m very sorry to everyone out there if I offended anyone.”
She also issues an apology on social media.
I would like to clear the air, I love and respect Diana Ross, this was my tribute to her I was showing my sincere admiration. I in no way altered my skin color and I did not mean to offend anyone.
— Luann de Lesseps (@CountessLuann) April 5, 2018
Check out the clip below:
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.