BravoCon 2022: Andy Cohen discusses diverse casting in ‘The Real Housewives,’ Bravo stars reunite on ‘WWHL’ and more

TheGrio talked to the "Watch What Happens Live" host on the convention's star-studded red carpet.

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What a weekend to be a Bravo fan! For three days, BravoCon took over the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, bringing every “Real Housewife” and reality star on the popular network all in one place to party, celebrate and thank their devoted fans.

TheGrio attended the convention, and we’ve got you covered with exclusive scoops from the red carpet, what went down at Andy Cohen’s Legends Ball at “Watch What Happens Live,” and exclusive sneak peeks from upcoming seasons of Bravo shows.

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN — “BravoCon: Legends Ball Episode 19166 — Pictured: (l-r) Ashley Darby, Kenya Moore, Andy Cohen, Vicki Gunvalson — (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images)

Andy Cohen on ‘The Real Housewives’ and diverse casting

From their “Race in America: A Movement, Not a Moment” specials in the wake of the racial injustice protests during the summer of 2020, to the additions of Garcelle Beauvais on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Eboni K. Williams on “The Real Housewives of New York,” and Guerdy Abraira and Kiki Barth on “The Real Housewives of Miami,” to name a few, Bravo has made some clear adjustments when it comes to their reality TV talent and the stories they are telling on TV.

For years, the shows on the popular network (while filled with Black talent on shows like “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Married to Medicine”), remained segregated, something the viewers were certainly vocal about as the years went on. Cohen opened up to theGrio on the BravoCon red carpet about this new chapter in Bravo history, reflecting on the shift in representation and what led to it.

“We all had a reckoning a few years ago as a culture, and Bravo took that very seriously,” Cohen explained. “It has been a very clear directive, and we got it wrong for a long, long time. We relaxed in our moment of producing shows that people were loving, and we didn’t push the envelope and do the work that needed to be done.

“Bravo’s commitment to diversity is serious, and I hope that people see it,” Cohen continued, crediting Kandi Burruss of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” as an instrumental collaborator with the network during this social reckoning. “Kandi has been such a positive partner for us in terms of having conversations about how we can do better as a network and a franchise. A lot of really good conversations have happened off-camera with talent that have led us to do better.”

The Real Housewives of Miami” is back!

One of the most exciting panels of the weekend was Sunday’s official gathering of “The Real Housewives of Miami.” A Peacock original, the return of this city after 8 years was a success with fans of the franchise, and now the show will air its fifth season (second after last year’s reboot). Fans got an exclusive look at the first trailer for the season.

This year sees the women rally around Lisa Hochstein, who is currently going through a very public divorce. TheGrio caught up with Abraira and Hoschstein on the red carpet, who teased the new season. “Our show is real arguments and real emotions going down,” Abraira explained. “I’m more raw [this season]. I just gave all of me, and I can’t take it back. I’ll put it this way, this season is very, ‘no one puts Gigi in a corner’ and it’s well noted!”

Ashley Darby and Vicki Gunvalson try to “Squash That Beef”

One of the biggest events of the weekend was “Bravocon: Andy’s Legends Ball,” a super-sized episode of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” that saw over 140 Bravo stars hit one stage. Of course, with reality stars that huge, there is bound to be a little bit of tension between them, something Cohen addressed in a game that has become a BravoCon staple: “Squash that Beef.”

The segment brings together Bravo stars from different cities to try and put an end to their public “beefs.” The segment saw stars like Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon of “The Real Housewives of Potomac” and Lesa Milan and Chanel Ayan from “The Real Housewives of Dubai squash their beef, but there were a few housewives who couldn’t resolve their issues, including Ashley Darby of Potomac and one of the first-ever “Real Housewives,” Vicki Gunvalson of Orange County.

Last week, Darby said Gunvalson was the rudest fellow housewife she has ever encountered on an episode of WWHL, something Cohen hoped the two could squash in the segment. Gunvalson, however, seemed to double down on her behavior with Darby, prompting housewives like Kenya Moore of RHOA and Teresa Giudice of RHONJ to jump in to share their own issues with the former RHOC star. Check out the must-see moment below:

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