In the Real Housewives franchise, any main cast member could always return as a “friend of the show,” as seen recently by Heather Thomson. But a “friend of the show” doesn't always become a Real Housewives main player. The ambiguous term “friend” applies to Bershan Shaw on this season of The Real Housewives of New York. Following a clash with all the ladies in the latest episode, Shaw is sharing whether or not she would consider returning after Season 13 concludes.
If we’re being real, newbie Bershan Shaw most definitely was trying to manufacture a problem/storyline with the entire cast of Real Housewives of New York City during a trip to Salem, Massachusetts. Shaw called them “old grandmas” and named Sonja Morgan a “clown” at dinner. Later on, Morgan and Shaw got into a slightly physical altercation involving broken glass. They supposedly put a Band-Aid on the bullet wound, so to speak but, now, Shaw seems to be indicating she might be too busy to return after Season 13. She told ET Online:
Never say never. I love the girls. I love shooting with them. I love that Bravo and Andy [Cohen] bought in diversity. Kudos to them, because it was needed. It's New York City. But I do have a lot. I have a book coming out, I have an app coming out, I got a T-shirt line. I mean, I'm doing a lot. I got an interior design business.
It seems Bershan Shaw just might be hedging her bets. Likely, she has to wait on the network’s thumbs up or down for a return or her elevation from “friend” to main castmate. Bravo is known to bring down the axe on Real Housewives when they are either too much or not enough storyline on the show. Just ask former Real Housewives of New York star Dorinda Medley.
But a lot of speculation has been stirring about the future of the cast of the Real Housewives of New York. Series alum Ramona Singer, who brought Bershan Shaw into the fold and has been a staple on the show since the very first season in 2008, actually had to shut down rumors on Instagram that she was potentially getting fired. However, TMZ reported last week that Singer was delaying filming for the Season 13 reunion because of concerns that newcomer Eboni K. Williams would paint her out to be a racist.
Ramona Singer and Eboni K. Williams have indeed been going back and forth about race all season on The Real Housewives of New York. Singer doesn't want to talk about it at all and Williams wants to talk about it a lot. The Daily Mail reported that the continued racial conversation coincides with historically low ratings for the show. But Williams pushed back against the insinuations and indicated to TMZ that Bravo producers are responsible for what ultimately makes it on air, not her.
As Bershan Shaw mentioned, lack of diversity has been a huge issue for the Real Housewives franchise over the years, and it has only just started making strides to correct it. Eboni K. Williams is the first Black castmate on the Real Housewives of New York City, and Crystal Kung Minkoff became the first Asian castmate on this season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills also brought in Garcelle Beauvais last year as its first Black castmate.
The inclusion of new stories, races and identities into the Real Housewives universe has proven to stir up a lot of drama. But Bravo can’t have that kind of cake and not eat it, too. The franchise still has room for growth in the future, and we'll just have to wait and see if Bernan Shaw is a part of that future.