Bravo Show ‘The Valley’: Being Called a Republican in LA is a ‘Death Sentence,’ ‘Social Suicide’

April 9th, 2024 3:46 AM

“You better be on the (down low) if you're a Republican (in LA) because you're not getting invited to anything.”

That was the message from Bravo’s new reality show The Valley - a spinoff of Vanderpump Rules (home of the infamous “Scandoval” cheating drama that swept the nation several months ago) - just three episodes into its season premiere.

Politics rarely, if ever, come up on the original, but just three episodes into The Valley things turned very political, and very ugly, with one cast member proclaiming it’s a “death sentence” and “social suicide” to be a Republican in Los Angeles, while others insinuate that being a Republican automatically makes you a racist.

As with most reality shows, gossip, drama, and arguments are a main focus, so you’ll have to bear with us as we trudge through all the “likes” randomly thrown into conversations and the 'he said, she said' banter as the cast plays out a game of Telephone over a rumor.

The drama started on the episode “Doubting Doute” when Vanderpump alum Kristen Doute repeated a rumor she claims was told to her by Zack in which Janet supposedly warned Jasmine, who is black, that Michelle is secretly Republican and thus, a racist.

I know, I know. It’s confusing and ridiculous. But the accusations are very serious, with real life ramifications, so just try to stay focused on those.

Another Vanderpump alum, Brittany, explains the situation to her husband Jax while Michelle discusses with her husband Jesse how those “two words” (“Republican” and “racist”) affected her:

Brittany: Kristen starts bringing up that Janet told Jasmine Michelle was a racist and a Republican and all this crap.

Kristen (Flashback): What am I stirring up? The truth that Janet told you Michelle is, like, probably a Republican, so she's probably racist. This is the (bleep) that Janet was saying.

Jasmine: You know what, Kristen? I swear to God, you are not-- look at me. You are not gonna (bleep) say that Janet told me that she was a racist.

Brittany: You know, she's like, no, no, no, actually…

Kristen: That is what Zack told me.

Zack: I never said that!

Michelle: It’s not (bleep) true, Kristen.

Jax: Listen. That's not gonna fly.

Brittany: I can't-- I'm wondering how Michelle is feeling today, like, after she brought that up in her own home and said that about her.

Michelle: I haven't slept. You have no idea what happened last night. The first time in my life I've ever heard my name associated with these words. And she said, Janet said Michelle is a racist and a Republican.

Jesse: She said, a racist and a Republican?

Michelle: Yes, I'm still shocked, to be honest with you, like, completely shocked.

Jesse: What the (bleep) Is wrong with her? I know. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Michelle: Stop saying that word.

Jesse: It's in my vocabulary.

Michelle: We have a daughter. You can't use those anymore. Because she starts saying it.

Jesse: Shh, no, no, no. We don't say that word. I'm sorry.

Daughter: You say that every day.

Jesse: I know. When you say it, it's funny. When I say it, it's wrong.

Michelle: I'm really upset because Janet wouldn't say that or else she wouldn't be my friend. And hello, I'm the one that's first generation Mexican, first-generation Persian. I was just so shocked and confused by the whole thing.

Jesse: You should call Janet and be like, did you (bleep) say this?

They did redeem themselves somewhat when Jesse remarks, “What does being a Republican have to do with it?”

Michelle answers, “Like, I'm not a Republican, which, by the way, even if I am, who gives a (bleep)?” But things devolved again as the show progressed.

Janet explains in a confessional that the rumor apparently began over the falsely labeled “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida, which Michelle rightly stated protects children. Janet then self-righteously explains how wrong Michelle is to believe that, and that she, “maybe got swept into an algorithm that maybe is teaching her some things that are not true.”

So, Janet was hoping if it came up again, it could be a “teachable moment” for Michelle:

Janet: She threw me under the bus, she threw Zack under the bus, and Jasmine under the bus all in one swoop! I said something small, and Kristen made it, like, so big. And she didn't just run with it. I mean, she ran a marathon with it. Michelle, Brittany, and I were at dinner a few months ago. And Michelle said something along the lines of, "Don't Say Gay" laws protect children. And I'm like, “No, no, no. Like, that's… you're wrong.” I know Jasmine is, like, read up on this and knows, you know, how some stuff can be baked in to be harmful to certain communities. I just said to Jasmine, who I guess said to Zack, I said, “We were talking about this bill, and I think she might support it.” But I'm like, I don't know. I was like, “But, you know, since it's related to the LGBT community, if you happen to hear her talking about it and sense the same thing I did, it might be like a teachable moment.” I've never once thought that Michelle was racist. I wouldn't be her friend if I did. I thought that she maybe got swept into an algorithm that maybe is teaching her some things that are not true. Somehow that got twisted. Well, if she believes in "Don't Say Gay" laws, then she must be a Republican and Republicans are racist, is from what I understand, how Kristen got there.

How kind Michelle’s friends are to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe she’s just ignorant and that they can educate her if a “teachable moment” comes up. Such a prime example of the bubble Hollywood lives in, thinking their beliefs are the only correct ones, and if anyone thinks or votes differently, they’re a bad person.

As the friend group meets for a dinner party, the topic is brought up again, and Kristen claims Zack insinuated that being a Republican equals “racism and/or…homophobia”:

Michelle: Now I think everybody’s involved so, we might as well all speak publicly because I think I'm tired of she said, he said. So, if we're all in one table, then we can all be on the same page.

Janet: I agree. Kristen decided at Michelle's to say that I said Michelle was racist, which I have never thought in my life, let alone said out loud. And I don't know where that came from, but I am so disgusted by it.

Kristen: It came from Zack.

Zack: It did not come from me. Kristen held all this information. Got all of it completely mixed up. You want to talk about a (bleep) stew, like, there was no recipe. She was just grabbing numbers out, like they were (bleep) the Powerball.

Kristen: The game of telephone was, to Janet, to Jasmine, to Zack, to me and Luke, that you were telling Jasmine that she should be cautious of Michelle because she's a, quote, unquote, "Republican." And what Zack insinuated at my house to Luke and I was that that would equal racism and/or slash and/or homophobia.

Jasmine: Take my name out of it because guess what, I never had a conversation with this one about anybody in this table ever. So that's what I'm upset about. I'm black. So like, I have experienced racism. So, to have, like, a friend just throw it out so lightly, like it's nothing, it's like, that's not fair, you know, and it's not fair for Michelle. It's not fair for me. It's not for the whole group, you know.  

Zack: I've known Michelle for a while. She is not homophobic. And I love her to pieces. And I really hate that, unfortunately, this got said.

Kristen: What I want to immediately apologize to Michelle for is that I felt cornered, and I should not have ever said those things out loud, especially at your home.

Jesse: Why don't you say what you did and you lied? Call it a lie and don't call it anything else.

Kristen: I did not lie.

Zack ends up admitting the truth in his confessional about how Republicans are seen and treated in Los Angeles, calling it a “death sentence,” and “social suicide” if anyone is called a Republican in the extremely liberal city:

Michelle: Zack has said he did not say that. Janet said she did not say that. I believe that everybody in this table would not be my friend if they thought that.

Kristen: I don't think that, Michelle.

Michelle: That's not what I just said.

Zack: I don't know how it became like I said that Janet said that because that is completely not the truth. But I will tell you this. If you call someone a Republican in LA, that's a death sentence right there. That is a social suicide moment. You better be on the DL if you're a Republican because you're not getting invited to anything.

Jesse: You disrespected my family name. We have a business that we run together. If something like that gets out, you're ruining lives.

Michelle: Not only that…

Jesse: Michelle, please. You were thrown off the (bleep) show for being an actual racist.

Kristen: What the (bleep) did you just call me? I know that I made a mistake by roping Michelle into something that didn't have to do with her. But Jesse, he's just trying to ruin my name by bringing up the most painful thing that I've ever gone through.

Jesse: Did you not? Is that not a true statement?

Kristen: I understand why Michelle is upset. It is the worst thing in the world to be labeled as anything, let alone a racist. And nobody knows better than me because it happened to me, and I was canceled. It was probably the hardest time of my entire life thus far. Yeah. I'm not proud of what I did. And I'm sorry that I hurt people. But I've learned from my mistakes. These are my friends sitting here. They know my past. And all I want to do is pick up the pieces and move on with my life, be a good person. It's like people finally gave me a chance again. And now it's like brought up all over again. And I'm going to have to relive it again. Hope that my whole life doesn't fall apart again.

Yes, ironically, Kristen was fired from Vanderpump Rules over accusations of racist behavior. That’s another long, dramatic story which we won’t get into, but you can read about it here.

And if living in LA is anything like the ridiculous, convoluted drama displayed on both Vanderpump Rules and The Valley, Republicans aren’t missing out on much by not being welcome there.