Sunday* night’s episode of “What Happens Next: Live” caused more controversy than just about any in the Bravo show’s history, leading to the hashtag “#BoycottBravo” trending on social media.
In a bit on the late night show, host Andy Cohen (well-known for being Bravo’s former head of development and executive producer of the network’s famed “Real Housewives” shows) decreed the Twitter feud between “Hunger Games” star Amandla Stenberg and Kylie Jenner as the “Jackhole of the Day.” Apparently, Cohen thought that it was silly for Stenberg to have a problem with Jenner’s cornrows and call her out for cultural appropriation, and he said as much to guests Laverne Cox and former Vogue Editor-at-Large André Leon Talley:
Cohen: “Today’s Jackhole goes to the Instagram feud between Kylie Jenner and ‘Hunger Games’ star/Jaden Smith’s prom date Amandla Stenberg, who criticized Kylie for her cornrows, calling it cultural appropriation. White girls in cornrows … is it OK or nay, Laverne and Andre?”
Talley: “To me, it’s fine.”
Cox: “Um…Bo Derek.”
Cohen’s question and ignorance of—or refusal to acknowledge—the historical context of appropriation that inspired Stenberg’s remarks, as well as Cox’s and Talley’s non-comments on that context, inspired Twitter users to criticize all three and the Bravo network while turning #BoycottBravo into a trending topic:
I love how we come together when people come for our culture. I will #boycottbravo & NOT support the other pacifists that were on that show— amberwavesofgray (@amberwavesgray) July 14, 2015
The episode was also controversial for Talley’s comments on Caitlyn Jenner’s style, with the fashion expert responding to a caller’s question on the topic by saying the following:
I think she looks fabulous. I thought she was fabulous on the Vanity Fair cover and I think she looks like a perfect, wealthy, affluent white woman who’s privileged and that’s important and she comes from that kind of background.
Cox responded by saying, ”I think it’s important, particularly when we talk about women and trans women even more particularly, that we focus on who the person is beyond what they look like.”
*Post has been updated to reflect that the episode aired on Sunday, July 12, rather than last night, July 13.