Real Housewives Sonja Morgan and Dorinda Medley have issued a speedy apology after being caught making belittling remarks about drag and transgender models at New York Fashion Week, but their careers appear under threat as online anger is continuing to build at their perceived hypocrisy.
Morgan, a popular cast member on Real Housewives of New York, has hosted and participated in several LGBTQ Pride events; however many fans were left deeply uncomfortable when she previously declared on camera “It’s obvious I love my gays.”
Now she has been forced to apologize after she was once again filmed making dismissive remarks about members of the LGBT community.
Morgan, 55, was seated with her fellow RHONY stars Dorinda Medley, Luann de Lesseps, and Ramona Singer at Bryant Park on Tuesday, ostensibly to support fellow cast member Tinsley Mortimer, who was making a fashion week cameo.
Medley, 54, took a video of the Garo Sparo show that she posted to Instagram. In it, she and Morgan can be heard making decidedly insensitive remarks as first drag queen Miz Cracker and then transgender model Yasmine Petty took to the runway.
In the hastily deleted Instagram story, Yasmine is seen in a low-cut dress strutting down the runway while Dorinda can he heard in the background saying, “Well with a body like that, it’s a guy. That’s a guy.”
Sonja responds: “With a body like that it’s a guy, you’re absolutely right. Oh lord.”
Morgan and Medley issued a swift, no-holds-barred apology, telling Page Six Style in a statement: “We have a history as longstanding supporters of the LGBTQ community in many ways and apologize for our offensive comments at the fashion show.”
But will this be enough to save the women’s careers as reality stars?
There was no shortage of digital commenters Tuesday night urging Bravo to immediately sanction the pair.
Petty told Page Six Style after the show that the comments could be heard on the catwalk, saying: “I was really excited to do the fashion show for Garo Sparo for New York Fashion Week because he was using models of diversity, and I knew they were filming the Housewives of New York and I knew they were front row and literally, as I was walking down the runway, I heard them making these statements.”
Petty noted that the women can be seen laughing as she walks down the runway in another video taken from the event—although it is unclear why.
“It’s pretty disheartening and disappointing, especially this day and age and being in New York City,” Petty added.
“My philosophy is that people can’t choose their sexual orientation. They can’t choose their gender identity. They can’t choose or not choose to have a disability or a mental illness or even their race, but things people can choose to do is not to be rude and cruel to people over things they have no control over.”
Publicist Daniel Miles Lee Hue gave perhaps the clearest hint of a damage-limitation plan the pair might deploy in their efforts to try to calm the bubbling outrage, telling HollywoodLife.com “Sonja is a dear friend and former client of mine. Although I wasn’t there in person, nor have I spoke to her about it, I doubt her comments were meant to be offensive. Sonja has been involved in the LGBT community since I met her over five years ago. If anything, I think her comment presents a generational misunderstanding, where older generations aren’t as educated on how to appropriately celebrate members of our trans community.
“This is a teachable moment where I hope affluent cis-gendered women can learn to practice more restraint and sensitivity, and hopefully our trans sisters can help educate and bring along willing allies to help join the movement for trans equality. This is an example where we can’t let perfection become the enemy of the good and point out areas of opportunity where people can become more inclusive in their communication,” he said.