The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Cynthia Bailey has spoken exclusively to Digital Spy about how the Black Lives Matter movement has "changed" the show.
Viewers have already seen the cast getting involved in protests in Atlanta during the first few episodes of the season, with Porsha Williams leading the charge on the frontlines of the movement.
When we recently spoke to Cynthia about RHOA filming the first days of the BLM protests this past summer, she spoke about how those moments shaped the season.
"It's so important," she told us. "That's one of my favourite things that happened this season is the fact that we were able to bring our real-life situation onto the show.
"Everyone was affected by 2020. From the pandemic to Black Lives Matter, the world changed, and we changed, so therefore the show changed. We were able to bring you guys real-life situations that we were going through, that our families were going through.
"It was powerful to be able to use this platform to really shine a light on the Black Lives Matter movement because we're all affected. We're a Black cast, we're Black people, we have our own Black communities. We want to help uplift and support our people, as people."
In early episodes, Porsha Williams has followed in the footsteps of her grandfather, Civil Rights icon Hosea Williams, in leading protests — and facing down arrest on two occasions along with other protestors.
"I'm super proud of everything that Porsha was doing on the frontlines. She really shined a light on it. We all did in our way. One of the things I was planning… was shining a light on Black-owned businesses.
"A lot of Black-owned businesses, especially the smaller ones, suffered and are still suffering during this pandemic. I was one of them. Thank God I was able to get The Bailey Wine Cellar going. We did have to shut down for three months and I was able to still keep my employees employed."
Cynthia is also partnering with Seagram's Escapes along with former Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Eva Marcille Sterling on a Holiday Marketplace to support Black-owned businesses during this festive season. To offer your support during this most generous of seasons, click here.
All seasons and every episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta are available to stream and download in the UK and Ireland on hayu and hayu on NOWTV, with new episodes on Mondays. Bravo airs the new season on Sundays.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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