A spokesperson for Bravo said that four episodes of “Southern Charm” were taken down from the channel’s video-on-demand services because of racially charged moments within them. Three of them have been put back up on BravoTV.com and to the Bravo app, and will soon return to VOD. (Re-loading something onto cable and satellite on-demand services takes longer.) The fourth episode will also return, but with a scene set at a plantation removed from it.
TikTok user @thetalkofshame first noticed the missing episodes of the Bravo docusoap, which premiered in 2014, and follows the lives of socialites in Charleston, South Carolina. On Aug. 11, in a three-part TikTok series, she pointed out that an episode of “Southern Charm” — Season 1, Episode 2 — was missing from Bravo’s on-demand services. She had wanted to rewatch the episode, and discovered it wasn’t there. In it, former cast member Thomas Ravenel has lunch with his father, ex-Congressman Arthur Ravenel Jr. In the scene — which she plays in Part 2 — Arthur tells Thomas he likes to get rid of $5 bills because Abraham Lincoln is pictured on them, smirking wryly at the camera.
“This was aired! Primetime! Bravo!,” she says.
The following day, @thetalkofshame discovered that more “Southern Charm” episodes were missing from Bravo’s VOD services: Episode 1 from Season 3, Episode 1 from Season 4, and Episode 8 from Season 4.
The Bravo spokesperson confirmed that the episodes had been taken down as part of a review the network is doing to flag potentially offensive content. The Black Lives Matter protests that arose earlier in June led to a cultural reckoning that has caused media companies to examine practices that were once standard. In the wake of this recontextualization in June, Bravo fired “Vanderpump Rules” original cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, along with two other members of the cast. Bravo also fired a “Below Deck: Mediterranean” cast member for a racist and misogynistic Instagram post.
It’s not the first time Bravo has taken down an episode because it’s offensive. A transphobic first-season episode of “Below Deck” was not only taken down from its VOD services, but has been disappeared from Amazon and iTunes as well.
Bravo’s spokesperson said many shows have been under recent review, but these “Southern Charm” episodes are the only ones so far that have been taken down for further examination. Though three of the episodes were deemed to be OK, Season 3, Episode 1 of the show will be edited as a result, and a scene when “Southern Charm” star Kathryn Dennis gives a tour of her family’s plantation to occasional guest star K. Cooper Ray will be excised.
It was this scene, in which the two of them casually discuss the slave cemetery on the property, that @thetalkofshame highlighted in her TikTok, asking: “Is it the casual reference to you living on a plantation on top of a slave cemetery, before you sit down to drink mint juleps with your friend? Is it that every plantation really is just a giant slave cemetery?”
When the episode returns to Bravo’s VOD channels, that scene will be gone.
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