The “Real Housewives” star went off on Braunwyn Windham-Burke over on-camera kiss with Tamra Judge: “Do it off-camera. Fifteen years, I started this show. We don’t do that.”
"Real Housewives of Orange County" star Vicki Gunvalson is doing some damage control after fans started slinging accusations of homophobia her way after her tirade against Braunwyn Windham-Burke during the show’s recent reunion special.
Gunvalson went in on the newcomer’s "wild" behavior, going so far as to call out an incident where she kissed co-star Tamra Judge on-camera. Clearly, this crossed a line Gunvalson wasn’t happy with, and her reaction was one fans weren’t happy with.
"Do it off-camera," she shouted. "Fifteen years, I started this show. We don’t do that. Turn it down, Braunwyn. Turn it down!" When Kelly Dodd asked why this message was only being given to Windham-Burke and not Judge — considering she was just as involved — well, that question went unanswered.
Immediately, social media lit up with fans shocked at Gunvalson’s comments, and calling them homophobic. The reality star followed up the special with a video on Instagram defending her position, while doubling down on her attack against Windham-Burke … and still not addressing Judge.
My message as we end our season 14, and enter into 2020. Peace be with all of you. Here’s to a healthy, happy New Year. #rhoc #season14 #happynewyear
A post shared by Vicki Gunvalson (@vickigunvalson) on
"I’m gonna hit it right on, head on. I am not homophobic," Gunvalson said in the video. "I’ve got family members that are gay and lesbian and I’ve got obviously Bravo fans, personal friends. I’m not."
She then went into an attempt to clarify her original message from the reunion, which boiled down to not wanting to see Windham-Burke kiss anyone, pretty much. We qualify it this way because "Real Housewives" shows have shown plenty of smooching over the years between husbands and wives and men and women.
"I don’t think it’s appropriate for Braunwyn to be making out on TV. I don’t care if it’s with her husband or Tamra or anybody, I just don’t think it’s appropriate. If she wants to go do that, do that off-camera. I don’t really think that we all need to see it."
So why does this particular kiss irk Gunvalson so much? Is it homophobia? Or could it be much more personal. "The truth is, the girl bugs me, so probably much [of] anything she does would bug me," Gunvalson said.
Honestly, she’d have been better off just going with this defense, as it’s much better than emphasizing that you have gay friends and family members to prove you’re not homophobic (see any white person accused of racism saying, "I can’t be racist, I have a black friend," for how disingenuous that can sound).
"Sorry if you all took it any differently than what the truth is," Gunvalson also said in her video. The bottom line is that Gunvalson seems to simply be saying here that she doesn’t like Windham-Burke personally.
But that message gets lost entirely when she makes a blanket statement that no kissing should be seen on-camera when there has been plenty of kissing on-camera over the years, including on her own franchise.
And so, this makes it sound like she’s trying to cover up for why Windham-Burke kissing Johnson, in particular, makes her uncomfortable by trying to create a narrative where all making out makes her uncomfortable. And that’s a tough sell.
Windham-Burke also took to Instagram in the wake of the reunion with a video of her own, thanking the fans for their support of her through the season and in particular after the reunion. "I joined this show with the intention of being absolutely myself and I’m happy that shines through," she captioned her video.
I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the immense love and support you’ve shown our family this year on #rhoc . I joined this show with the intention of being absolutely myself and I’m happy that shines through. We’ve raised our children to be inclusive of everyone and are so appreciative of all the kindness you’ve shown us in the past few days! Here’s to an amazing 2020! #acceptance #youdoyou #modernfamily #lovewins
A post shared by Braunwyn Windham-Burke (@braunwynwindhamburke) on
You can check out some of the reactions to Gunvalson’s apology and initial outburst on the reunion special below as fans begin to speculate that this might be the final straw that ends her time as a member of the "RHOC" cast after fifteen years, not to mention her overall behavior during the reunion, including seething backstage before she came out over a perceived lack of respect for her OG status:
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