Stassi Schroeder sat down for a virtual interview with Tamron Hall who took the reality star to task for past racially charged incidents. In Schroeder’s first interview since she was fired from Vanderpump Rules, the best-selling author apologized for multiple insensitive comments made and said she’s learned from her mistakes.
Schroeder, who was fired from the hit Bravo show in June, told Hall she is speaking out now as she “needed time to process my feelings.”
“I needed time to process what happened and I feel like one of the most frustrating parts, you know, when this all went down was that people expected me to just understand everything immediately and things like that take time. And I felt like it would be better for me to take the time to get a greater understanding of everything and the issues before I opened my mouth again,” Schroeder, 32, said on Thursday’s the Tamron Hall Show.
Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired after their former co-star Faith Stowers, who is Black, recounted how they called the police on her. Schroeder and Doute saw a photo in a Daily Mail article about a Black woman who was accused of stealing and they believed it was Stowers.
In her interview with Hall, Schroeder said she didn’t want to be perceived as a “victim” of cancel culture.
“I’m someone who messed up quite a few times. I am the reason why I am 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 — it’s not how I feel at all,” Schroeder explained.
“Well, you know the other word people use when they mention you, and when I sent the tweet out that we would be talking, they say you’re not a victim, that in fact, you’re a racist,” Hall replied.
“That has been the hardest part of all this,” Schroeder said of the “racist” label.
“Just going out to a restaurant and going to the grocery store and wondering if that’s what people think,” Schroeder continued. “I’ve never felt like I was a racist, I don’t have hate in my heart. But I recognize that I wasn’t anti-racist. That’s something I’ve been learning throughout all of this.”
Hall pressed Schroeder about why she called the cops on Stowers.
“I’m trying to understand why you would see a tabloid photo of a Black woman and call the police on the only Black woman who was on the show,” Hall stated. “There is a power that white women, or privilege that you are able to use when you call the police, especially when you’re saying the suspect is Black.”
Schroeder explained that while it didn’t excuse her actions, she and Doute actually believed Stowers committed the crimes.
“The bottom line is, people that Kristen knew who were texting her and said ‘There’s this girl who has stolen from us and we think it’s this person in the article and she saying she’s on your television show and her name is Faith,’” Schroeder recalled. “And when you’re on a show like Vanderpump Rules, your existence on that show is kind of dependent on sticking your nose in other peoples’ conflict, or creating conflict that might be woven into a storyline.”
Schroeder added. “This is completely my fault because I was absolutely wrong, but it wasn’t just a photo that we saw. There were other reasons why we had thought that.” The podcast host repeatedly said “I was wrong,” but Hall didn’t let her off the hook that easily.
“I’m not convinced you fully understand how much of an impact you could have had on Faith’s life, the ramifications of all of this on her life as a human being, as a Black woman,” Hall said.
“I do absolutely understand,” Schroeder replied, saying she’s spent the last three months working with a diversity coach.
“There was so much that I didn’t know. I didn’t understand that just because something wasn’t about race for me doesn’t mean that it’s not about race for the other person,” she continued. “Because I’m bringing my experience as a white, privileged woman to the situation and she is bringing her experience as a Black woman into the situation. And because it’s about race for her, it is about race and that’s something that I’ve realized.”
Hall also grilled Schroeder for previous insensitive incidents, including her “Nazi chic” Instagram post and the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
“What is chic about Nazi?” Hall asked, referring to Schroeder’s caption on social media.
“Nothing at all. I am so embarrassed… I have been embarrassed about that for three years,” Schroeder replied. “It was a poor joke among me and my friends and it was so wrong… It’s absolutely my fault that I didn’t know better. But the issue is, I did not know better.”
“You didn’t know that to post something that seemed to mock or, the fact that millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust and suddenly an outfit is ‘Nazi chic’ — you didn’t know that? You grew up in a big city, you live in L.A. I’m surprised that you wouldn’t know that,” Hall said.
“I didn’t. It’s not that I didn’t, obviously, I know all the history, but I was so used to making jokes at other people’s expense,” Schroeder replied.
Hall brought up comments Schroeder made on her podcast years ago when people were upset about the lack of diversity surrounding Oscars nominations. The journalist read Schroeder’s remarks: “You said ‘I’m, like, really sick of everyone making everything about race. I’m kind of over it.’ You added, ‘Everyone giving their impassioned speeches about race and all that stuff, I’m like, why is it always just about African-Americans?’ Wow.”
“Wow is right,” Schroeder admitted. “Going through these past few months and working with a teacher and learning about Black history, and just the obstacles that Black people face every single day, I look back on that podcast and I am so embarrassed that I even had those thoughts, much less put it out there. I was that Karen! I was a Karen who basically said, ‘But what about all lives matter?’”
Hall pressed Schroeder on if she’s speaking out now because “the checks have stopped.”
“How much of this is about the fact that you needed income?” Hall asked.
Schroeder, who is pregnant with her first child and due in January, explained that she wants to be part of the solution, not the problem.
“I want to be a better person,” she concluded. “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. I needed that.”
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