On Wednesday, NeNe Leakes filed a federal lawsuit in Atlanta alleging that the production firms for The Real Housewives of Atlanta were in charge of a toxic and racist work environment.
Reality TV executive producer Andy Cohen was among those listed in the claim filed by Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member NeNe Leakes, 54, according to a report from the Associated Press.
RHOA co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, 43, made racial statements to Leakes, who is black. In court documents, Leakes says she reported the insults to higher-ups at the firms and has suffered professional ramifications as a result.
According to Leakes’ legal team, “NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated – if not, encouraged.”
A racial comment was originally made by Zolciak-Biermann, not mentioned in the lawsuit, during the first season of the program in 2008 when the group was scheduled to attend a barbeque, according to NeNe Leakes.
Leakes said in court documents that Zolciak-Biermann remarked “I don’t want to sit around with NeNe and eat chicken,” which “perpetuated an offensive stereotype about African-Americans.”
According to Leakes, Zolciak-Biermann made further ‘racially offensive and stereotypical’ statements during the show’s 5th season in 2012, when she used the N-word for her and the other cast members during a dispute.
Leakes further said that Kandi Burruss,an after cast member, acquired a new house to which Zolciak-Biermann said she lives in a ‘ghetto’ area, and questioned whether she needed a swimming pool.
Zolciak-Biermann referred to Leakes’s house as a “roach nest” in court documents and lied about her drug usage, Leakes said.
On the show’s behalf, Leakes claims that she contacted the show’s producers, who “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior.”