Jennie Nguyen reiterated that she was apologetic about resurfaced racist social media messages posted to her since-deleted Facebook account but says she hasn’t changed her “political stance” after being fired from The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
During an Instagram Live hosted Wednesday, Nguyen reiterated statements from a previous Instagram apology, saying that she was aware she “hurt a lot of people” with her words in a number of posts criticizing the national Black Lives Matter protests that followed the murder of George Floyd.
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Originally shared during 2020, those posts — which called racial justice activists and anti-racism protesters “thugs,” featured anti-Black memes and pro-police talking points, and promoted “White Lives Matter” and racist misinformation — resurfaced last week.
“I know my viewpoint during that time in 2020 was emotional. And it brings back a lot of memories during that time when we went through such a tragic, terrible year,” she said. “I just want to let you know that I am taking full responsibility and accountability for the things that were posted on my account, whether it was me or somebody else. It’s on my account, and I’m big enough to understand that those posts are very sensitive and inappropriate, to the point where it is disgusting.”
Despite the former Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star saying she understands how her posts were harmful and that “I hurt people, I hurt my fans, I hurt the people that are out there supporting me,” she made it clear that her political identity and position on the issue has not changed.
“I want you to understand that my political stance, I still support that. I am very proud to be a Republican. I am proud to be able to say I have the freedom of speech to choose and to have an opinion,” Nguyen said, before going on to add that people “need to respect each other” and “understand that we live in this country, where we have the freedom to speak our mind, as well as we have the freedom to choose.
“To support my political stance, that does not make me a racist,” she continued, before casting doubt on whether it was her who shared those posts to her Facebook. “Whether I remember the posts in 2020, I don’t remember whether it’s on my account or not. We don’t remember what we ate yesterday, let alone two years ago. But like, again, I take full responsibility.”
The former RHOSLC castmember acknowledged that while “police brutality is a very, very big topic,” she does support law enforcement and doesn’t “tolerate violence.”
“You have policemen out there signing their life away every day to make a commitment to protect the community. What about showing that appreciation? I did show that appreciation,” she said. “I don’t support bad [officers].”
But Nguyen also said that she doesn’t support people that “are out there burning buildings because there are workers there.”
“My friends [have] gone through their business being destroyed. They didn’t do anything. We are getting abuse for things that we didn’t do and that’s not fair,” she added. “I know a lot of people are suffering without being involved in the movement. Mentally, physically — we all are dealing with it.
“We’re all human, we make mistakes. If you did not make any mistake in your lifetime, then you’re not speaking the truth. I made a mistake,” she stated. “And to say this is the only mistake I made — no, I made tons of mistakes in my lifetime. Am I going to continue to make a mistake? Of course. Am I going to learn from it? Absolutely.”
The response comes a day after Bravo announced it had “ceased filming” with Nguyen and, in a statement, addressed criticisms around how long it took the network to respond to her posts, which had been circulating for a week.
“We recognize we failed to take appropriate action once her offensive social media posts were brought to our attention,” the network’s statement continues. “Moving forward, we will work to improve our processes to ensure we make better informed and more thoughtful casting decisions.”
Nguyen’s former castmates have all addressed the situation, with many sharing their criticisms of Nguyen’s deleted social media posts. Bravo host Andy Cohen, in a statement addressing the backlash to the show’s handling of the controversy, called the posts, “very upsetting, rightfully, and disgusting,” during his SiriusXM show Radio Andy on Jan. 24.
Nguyen’s firing is the latest racism controversy to affect the Salt Lake City Real Housewives cast. While Jen Shah’s accusations of racist microaggressions have swirled around white co-stars Lisa Barlow and Meredith Marks, Black castmember Mary Cosby was also called out for her anti-Asian racism as well as likening the Hawaiian and Tongan Shah, who was arrested on wire fraud charges, to “Mexican thugs.”