Stassi Schroeder is speaking out for the first time since her firing from Vanderpump Rules more than three months ago.
In a Sept. 17 appearance on The Tamron Hall Show, the former reality TV star and mom-to-be described herself as a “Karen,” and admitted that the “hardest part” of her ousting was being labeled a racist by critics.
“That has been the hardest part of all of this,” Schroeder told host Tamron Hall. “That is absolutely the hardest part. Just going out to a restaurant or going to the grocery store and wondering if that’s what people think.”
She added, “Throughout this whole thing, I’ve recognized I’ve never felt that I was a racist, I don’t have hate in my heart but I’ve recognized that I wasn’t anti-racist. I wasn’t. And that’s something I’ve been learning throughout all of this.”
Schroeder, along with her Bravo co-star Kristen Doute, were fired in June after cast mate Faith Stowers revealed on Instagram that the pair called the police on her to report a false claim. It was used as an example of Stowers’ experience as the only Black star on Vanderpump Rules. Both Schroeder and Doute apologized at the time.
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In her first interview since the firing, Schroeder told Hall she recognizes her white privilege and wants to be a better example for her daughter. Fans will recall, back in June, she announced that she’s expecting a baby girl with fiancé Beau Clark.
Schroeder said, “I just want to be a better person. I’m pregnant and I want my daughter to be proud of me. And I want to be a part of the solution, I’ve been a part of the problem for years now. And I’ve recognized that. That’s why I say I don’t feel like I’m a victim of cancel culture. People want me to be mad at it and I’m not, I needed it.”
The 32-year-old took responsibility for her actions, admitting, “I’m someone who messed up quite a few times. I am the reason why I’m in this situation. I think a lot of people wanted me to focus on cancel culture and whether I was a victim or not, and it’s just not how I feel at all.”
She explained that she’s spent the past three months with a teacher, trying to become more educated about racial issues and Black history. “There was so much that I didn’t know,” Stassi said. “I didn’t understand that just because something wasn’t about race for me, doesn’t mean it’s not about race for the other person because I’m bringing my experience as a white privileged woman to this situation and she’s bringing her experience as a Black woman into this situation. And because it’s about race for her, it is about race. And that’s something that I’ve realized.”
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She is also seeing her Straight Up with Stassi podcast in a new light. When discussing #OscarsSoWhite in 2017, she said she was “sick of everyone making everything about race.”
“Why is it always just about African Americans?” Stassi quipped at the time.
The podcast host told Hall, “I was a Karen who basically said, ‘But what about All Lives Matter?'”
Schroeder likewise addressed her insensitive “Nazi Chic” Instagram story caption from 2018, which caused social media users to begin trending #DumpStassi. At the time, she re-posted the photo of the outfit with the caption “Indiana Jones chic” instead.
The actress reflected on the incident three years later, saying, “I am so embarrassed. I’ve been embarrassed about that for three years. It was a poor joke amongst me and my friends and it was so wrong.”
Schroeder also shut down any chance of her returning to Vanderpump Rules, saying, “That ship has sailed.” She added, “My life feels very different right now, I think when something like this happens and you get pregnant on top of it, you take inventory of your life and you think, ‘What is going to be the best for my future child?’ And I think getting drunk and starting conflict and misbehaving on a reality show isn’t my journey anymore.”
Back in June, E! News exclusively revealed that Schroeder and Doute were “completely distraught” after they were booted from the show, which aired its 8th season earlier this year. As a result, Schroeder was dropped by her agent and publicist.
Stowers originally opened up about the incident to MTV’s Candace Renee Rice, saying, “I believe it hit the ceiling for me, and made me really want to run for the hills, when Kristen and Stassi decided they were going to call the cops on me.”
She said, “There was this article… where there was an African American lady… It was like a weird photo, so she looked very, very light-skinned and had these different, like weird tattoos or whatever and they showcased her, and I guess this woman was like robbing people… The woman was at large… and they called the cops and said it was me.”
After Bravo took swift action, Stowers told Page Six, “I feel so vindicated studios and production are able to see blatant racism and make these positive changes and help move the race forward—help with the fight forward.”
Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were also fired from Vanderpump Rules over past comments shared to social media.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
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