NeNe Leakes crossed a serious line, responding to a heckler by declaring that she hoped that she got raped. It was awful and inexcusable.
The only real surprise there, for most people, was the knowledge that NeNe Leakes does stand-up comedy. Because NeNe is no stranger to controversy.
But she realized that she went too far, this time, and has now issued a public apology.
We do not want to in any way understate the degree of awfulness of what NeNe Leakes said to that woman in her audience.
But … we’re having a little bit of trouble getting over the fact that people went into a theater and paid money to see NeNe Leakes do stand-up.
We don’t think that she’s talentless or that Real Housewives stars in general aren’t capable of doing stand-up — far from it.
(NeNe Leakes fat paycheck alone should be enough to convey that she has serious skills when it comes to being an entertainer)
But while we knew that NeNe made for great reality television, not everyone can make the jump from feuding on camera for cash to standing alone on stage and making your audience laugh.
And apparently, some members of NeNe Leakes’ audience agreed.
On Saturday night, NeNe took the stage in Oakland to perform stand-up.
One segment bombed especially hard.
She was trying to tell a joke about Uber drivers attempting to have sex with their passengers, which is already an uncomfortable topic because some of those drivers might just be making a wildly inappropriate pass, but we’ve all heard horror stories of drivers who didn’t take “no” for answer.
That’s probably why her audience wasn’t loving it. Rape is, uh, the absolute opposite of funny. Maybe she was going somewhere funny with that joke, but … yikes.
Some of the audience members booed, which is fine to do at your television or good-naturedly with a friend, but not polite if you’re somebody’s audience.
But it absolutely did not warrant NeNe Leakes’ response.
“I ain’t even gonna tell you about the goddamn Uber driver,” Leakes said, singling out one dissatisfied audience member in particular. “I hope he rape yo’ ass tonight when he take you home, bitch. And steal yo funky hello kitty, bitch.”
NeNe has issued an apology over multiple social media platforms:
“I truly regret and apologize for what I said from the stage in Oakland over the weekend.”
That’s a good start, but the next line gets … weird.
“Sometimes words can cut deep and hurt when you have no intentions of them doing so.”
How could those words have had no intention of cutting deep, though? A “funny accent” that exploits stereotypes might be made in fun but hurt someone by accident. An expressed desire for someone to be raped? No.
“As a woman and someone who has survived abuse, I regret the words that I used.”
Some might accuse NeNe of hiding behind her status as an abuse survivor. Others would say that she mentions this because she wants people to understand how sincerely she understands her mistake.
We do believe that she regrets the words that she used.
“I made a mistake and I should have known better. I hope people accept my deepest and sincerest apologies. I am sorry.”
That last line is good, though. Overall, it’s a pretty good apology.
This isn’t the first time that NeNe Leakes has crossed a line, even in the past couple of weeks.
She recently went off on Brielle Biermann, daughter of her costar and rival, Kim Zolciak.
NeNe told Brielle that she “will never be Kylie Jenner,” telling her to stop changing her face’s appearance.
Now, Brielle is an adult (a young adult, but still), but many still consider feuding with someone’s children to be unethical. For a host of reasons.
NeNe has a reputation for speaking her mind in the most direct way possible, so it’s not a surprise that she’d go off on a 20-year-old or on a member of her own audience.
We just, you know, wish that she’d be a little better.