Sutton Stracke, Garcelle Beauvais and Crystal Kung Minkoff were interviewed by the LA TIMES and it is FANTASTIC. It is lengthy and behind a paywall so I have included a few of the excerpts here. And it is still more than Kyle and some of the other housewives are capable of reading. So, that is probably for the best. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE.
The interview took place at Sutton’s now house, “the nearly completed space now boasts elegant floral arrangements and walls decked with art like Barbara Kruger’s “Who Will Write the History of Tears?” EW SERIOUSLY? THAT IS SOME STUPID SHIT NOT ART AT ALL?! Stracke is playfully posing for photos alongside fellow “Housewives” Garcelle Beauvais and Crystal Kung Minkoff while Taylor Swift’s “I Forgot That You Existed” pulses without irony — albeit muffled by the clinking of Stracke’s dangly bracelet, the sort of detail that almost inevitably becomes a tongue-in-cheek meme. It’s been a few weeks since the the trio filmed the Season 11 reunion and, judging from their bubbly interactions, it’s clear they’re all on speaking terms.”
On Racially Integrating The Cast
Kung Minkoff: It’s never been my mission, but it has sort of grown with me through this process. For me, the representation was, I’m going to come into this sort of very Caucasian world that I live in in my real life, and then the audience will get to see how easily integrated someone of color is in this world. And I didn’t realize how, not necessarily in the cast, but how challenging that looks to people who watch the show. Every single day, I get the word “chink” in my DMs, or “kike.” Every day. And it’s interesting because I think I’ve asked [Garcelle], like, “Do you get this?” I don’t know what it is about the Asian experience.
Beauvais: Exactly. I am the race card. But I loved how we handled it as a cast. I was able to have a really great conversation with Kyle [Richards], who was receptive and understood. And it didn’t have to be volatile. I didn’t have to throw a table or chair. It was just, you know, educating her in a way. And I felt like maybe that’s where our show stood out from others that were more volatile because of race, because we handled it a little more civilized.
Sutton Learned A Lesson
Sutton, there was that moment early in the season where Crystal challenged you on the framing of “I don’t see color.” In the moment, you were defensive. But looking at how things unfolded, could you see how it wasn’t meant as an indictment of you but meant to show the flaws of that logic?
Stracke: 100%. That was a [conversation] that I learned a lesson from — seriously. As a white woman, this is how we do, and this is how we can change.
Beauvais: And what was great, the producers didn’t want to shy away from having these conversations because they were happening in the real world anyway. It’s not like we were pretending or bringing it up just to talk about it, but they were very good about letting us have those conversations.
It was the start of some ongoing tension between Sutton and Crystal — though it now feels like it happened in another season, with everything that has transpired since. There was the coat incident, where Crystal expressed feeling like her space had been violated. As it’s all happening, are you worried and thinking, “Is this going to be what the whole season is about?”
The Ugly Leather Pants
Kung Minkoff: Yeah, it was a lot. I appreciated that Sutton had called me the day after everybody got exposed [to the coronavirus]. We had this sort of 16-day quarantine and, I know it sounds harsh, but it was like our blessing.
Stracke: It was. It was. I was like, “We gotta stop.”
Kung Minkoff: I was like, “Trust I don’t want this to go on; I don’t know why it kept going on.” So I was so happy that [Sutton] called. We had to hear each other out outside of this stressful camera [situation], with everyone around. We really needed to have our own private conversation.
Have you worn those “ugly leather pants” since?
Kung Minkoff: I bought another pair because I knew they were going to sell out.
More seriously, things took a turn this season once we reached election day and Erika’s divorce filing set off a series of questions. It’s one thing to watch it as a viewer and know a little bit of what to expect. But living it must have been a whirlwind.
Stracke: I immediately felt sorry for her. Because divorce is hard and they have been married for so long. I was married for 17 years. And they were married for 20 years. And it’s sad. Divorce is sad. And I don’t think any of us exactly knew why. You just instantly start going through your mind: I wonder what happened here for her to do that? The minute I read that L.A. Times article I just …
It was too long for some, we learned. LOL
Stracke: I went and got it in paper. I read it three times on my phone, and then went and got the paper version. Because I needed to see it in paper. When I left Kyle’s house in La Quinta, my first call was to production. When I read the article the fourth time, I got concerned because we were hearing stories from one side, and I was like, “Are we gonna keep hearing stories? On camera? Do we need an attorney to kind of help us guide us through filming?” That was really my biggest question. And they said: “This is such a great question. Why don’t you get the girls together?”
Beauvais: And then you called me and I was like, “Oh, my God, I never thought about that. We could be implicated.”
Stracke: And using the word “alleged.” I am a very private person and I got freaked out.
The viewers really tried to make sense of the stories. People were making diagrams, they were Google Map searching, trying to understand the crashes.
Beauvais: There were people who drove the street …
Stracke: Should we do that this afternoon? God I love Sutton!
I want to talk about this reunion. It’s four parts.
Stracke: Crystal and I have had back and hip issues afterwards.
Kung Minkoff: It was a lot. We were very close on a couch.
Beauvais: We should have been in separate chairs.
Do you think the right questions were asked? Do you think viewers will be satisfied with the answers we get with regards to Erika?
Stracke: I don’t want to spoil it for anybody. But there’s one thing that I’m still a little like, “Really?!” — about how I was treated about asking questions and then other people were not treated the same way.
What do you think of how Sutton was treated this season in that respect, Garcelle and Crystal?
Beauvais: Oh, I didn’t like it at all and that’s my one regret, and I said that in the reunion: I wish I had stood up for her at Kathy’s dinner because that was completely out of control. Erika’s back was to me so I couldn’t see her face, but obviously I could feel her energy and it was enough. It was enough.
Kung Minkoff: I for sure was still feeling the residual negativity, or whatever it’s called, of our issue and had we not had that, for sure, I would have been more protective of you.
Stracke: Yeah, we weren’t friends yet.
Kung Minkoff: We weren’t there yet. I know if we were friends like today, I would have totally defended you. I regretted that too.
How are you feeling about the prospects of returning?
Kung Minkoff: For me, it’s quite scary. I sometimes just feel like I live my life very positively and I have really good life and this really, like, brings a lot of negativity sometimes, and even though my kids don’t see it, I feel the energy being thrown at them. And I’m like: Why am I doing it? Like what is this for? And so I grapple with that a lot.
Beauvais: Oh. boy … I’m on the fence, honestly.
Stracke: I’m a glutton for punishment. There’s something seriously wrong. It’s the highs and the lows. At the end of the day, it’s this weird bond that we all fight, and to be honest, to sit on this couch with these ladies, is, I mean, such a blessing because I have truly a great friendship with [Garcelle]. And then I get to know [Crystal]. I would not know these women had I not done this. I love meeting people and I love forming friendships with women and close friendships. And let me tell you, this show, you don’t get closer.
Final question. How long should this piece be if we want to get your cast members to read it?
Stracke: A paragraph. Do it as Instagram Stories.
Kung Minkoff: A caption with a photo.