Kenya Moore was criticized for wearing a Native American Headdress to a Halloween costume party during a recent episode of "Real Housewives of Atlanta."
Criticisms and accusations of cultural appropriation were sparked following the latest episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, during which Kenya Moore dressed as a "Warrior Princess" in a costume that included a Native American headdress. A nonprofit organization, IllumiNative, which aims to "increase the visibility of Natives in American society," is calling on the reality TV personality, Bravo, and Andy Cohen to apologize "for the harm they have caused Native peoples."
In a statement issued by IllumiNative Monday, shortly after the episode aired, the nonprofit said they "are deeply disturbed" by the most recent episode of the series. The organization explained that "costumes that mock Native peoples, defame our traditions and cultures, and perpetuate negative stereotypes are racist" and that "'playing Indian' is a form of mascotry that is not just offensive, it is part of a long history of how Native peoples have been dehumanized." IllumiNative pointed to "countless research studies" that have shown "the harm these images, actions, and the normalization of these behaviors have on our youth."
Bravo has since responded to the statement, writing that the company "aims to have the highest standards of respect and inclusivity" and stating that they "recognize that the recent episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta… did not uphold those values." Bravo explained they "had hoped it would provide a teachable moment," but in "retrospect it is clear that the network did not address this properly given the gravity of the situation." The company ended its comment by apologizing "to both the Native American community and our audience as a whole."
Moore has also apologized on her own social media account.
However, fans have been having mixed emotions about the appropriateness of Kenya’s costume since Kenya has previously identifies as Native American. See a few reactions below.