RHOD’s D’Andra Simmons ‘proud’ of show’s handling of racism after LeeAnne exit

Real Housewives of Dallas star D'Andra Simmons has said she is "proud" of her fellow cast members for their handling of racism on the show.

Former cast member LeeAnne Locken made a number of derogatory comments about Mexican cast members Kary Brittingham on the fourth season.

Meanwhile, original cast member Brandi Redmond was hit by criticism after she shared a video of her pulling her eyes into a slanted shape, with many saying she was mocking Asians.

Despite being just a few episodes into season five of Real Housewives of Dallas, the ladies have already been dealing with the issue of racism, with the help of newbie Tiffany Moon.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star, D'Andra said: "It was the first thing we did, we talked about it.

"My friend, Tiffany Moon who is Chinese, was the perfect person to explain how growing up in America as an immigrant, how she felt and how it affected her, and why that video was hurtful.

"Coming from me or somebody else, it wouldn't land the same. If you watched how Tiffany did that, she was very stern but also very heartfelt, so I believe the way that happened and the way it unfolded was the perfect way to tell that story."

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Last year saw an international outcry against systemic racism, with Black Lives Matter protests happening around the world.

D'Andra, 52, told us: "Of course, we are not putting our heads in the sand. We are all living in this radical time in our country, people are very upset and we're having those conversations.

"I for one did some things on my Instagram, I had some conversations with some of my friends and said, 'Look, let's talk about systemic racism, explain that to me,' because we weren't talking about those things when I was growing up in the 80s, and I'm glad that we're talking about it now.

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"I think it's late, but we're the South – we don't talk about religion, sex, politics out loud with people, because that's just not what Southern ladies do.

"But now we're doing it and I'm very proud of us and I'm thrilled that we are hitting those topics head on, discussing them and understanding that there are conversations that need to be had and I hope we continue to have those conversations, I think it's great."

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Former cast member LeeAnne Locken, who was known for her temper, had been on the show since it started back in 2016, however she did not return for this year's season.

Speaking of her on-off friend, D'Andra said: "Honestly, there's no negating the contribution that she made to this franchise for four years – and she was there from the beginning, so we all have to be thankful that she started out with this franchise and was there for so long.

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"However every franchise has evolved and moved on, as you've seen in other franchises, Housewives come and go. It's not a forever job."

She went on: "This year I think that it is very light, it is very refreshing.

"Now, we have fights just like every other franchise – Kary and I have already been getting into it – but the fights are not so oppressive and deep and doom and gloom, and I really believe that the other girls, I've seen them come to the table and have opinions and not be afraid to say what they thing.

"You're seeing more of every single person's personality because LeeAnne is not here – because she was such a huge presence on the show, the other people felt dwarfed by her.

"Now you're gonna see more Stephanie [Hollman], more Kameron [Westcott] – and Kameron doesn't have her sidekick now, so she's had to develop other friendships.

"The biggest blessing for me this year, is that Kameron and I have re-developed our friendship because we were so estranged because of the relationship she had with LeeAnne."

The Real Housewives of Dallas is available to stream on hayu each Wednesday

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