The latest Housewives of Dallas drama reveals a lot about the ‘anti-racism’ backlash

by | May 21, 2021 | Dallas, Opinion

For many fans of reality television, the latest season of the Real Housewives of Dallas failed to live up to other franchises, like Salt Lake City or Potomac, in terms of ratings or drama. But now, after the season ended and the two-part reunion aired on Bravo, the Real Housewives of Dallas have captured the headlines thanks to some ugly accusations that shine a spotlight on the attitudes of many affluent white Texans on “anti-racism.”

Though many Bravo fans complained about the tedium of the fifth season of Dallas Housewives, almost everyone agreed that the one bright spot for the show was the addition of new cast member Dr. Tiffany Moon. A medical prodigy and Chinese immigrant, Moon was only the second woman of color to join the show.

In a year that has seen unprecedented violence and abuse against the AAPI community, there was something uplifting in seeing Dr. Moon, an anesthesiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, balance her career (during a global pandemic) and parenthood. She also has an extraordinary closet.

But from the start of the season, Moon’s tenure on the show was fraught and often cringeworthy. After a video surfaced last year of cast member Brandi Redmond making a racist facial expression in a video, Moon had to essentially act as a counselor to her fellow Housewife. Moon spoke to Vice about the ordeal, one of many instances that she had to deal with on the show, noting it was often awkward and painful for her.

Now there’s a fresh new controversy that has entangled Moon with another cast member, Kameron Westcott, and her influential Dallas family. A native of California who joined the show in season two, Kameron Westcott was introduced as the model-like wife of Court Westcott, the son of wealthy entrepreneur (and founder of 1-800 Flowers) Carl Westcott. Almost always wearing pink, Kameron was dubbed by a former cast member as a “real-life Elle Woods,” the character from “Legally Blonde.” She is rarely seen without a tiny dog and owns a line of premium dog treats called SparkleDog.

Though Westcott and Moon appeared genuinely friendly during the show, there were a few glaring instances of friction. When Moon requested her fellow housewives try chicken feet at a dim sum restaurant, Westcott looked appalled. Later on her Instagram, Westcott wrote she’d rather eat a SparkleDog dog treat.

Westcott and Moon sparred about that point at the reunion, filmed months after the season wrapped. Moon maintained the comment was offensive, which Westcott denied. Westcott also accused Moon of being racist and perpetuating stereotypes in her TikTok videos. Despite the heated accusations, the two women appeared to patch things up and even shared a hug at the reunion. But that was short-lived, and Moon was on the receiving end of some appalling comments from Kameron Westcott and her family.

In the aftermath of the reunion, Moon was barraged with bullying Twitter feedback from the Westcott family, which revealed a grotesque view of “anti-racism.” Court Westcott, seemingly incensed by what he viewed at the Housewives reunion, told Moon that “anti-racism is racism.”

Court Westcott, who has now deactivated his Twitter account, also wrote about anti-racism that “it discriminates by the color of ones (sic) skin.” He continued: “They tried that once in Germany, it did not work out well. I don’t understand how many of your patients would be comfortable with you treating them with your open vile racism.” Court Westcott also tagged Moon’s employer, UT Southwestern Medical Center. Other members of the Westcott family also joined in the Twitter bullying, including Court’s brother Chart.

Chart is no stranger to controversy. In 2014, he was a candidate in the Republican primary for House District 108, which became an open seat after Dan Branch ran for Attorney General. Westcott advanced into a run-off with Morgan Meyer. With spending upwards of $2 million, the battle between Westcott and Meyer was infamous for how low it got. The state of Virginia even charged Westcott with a misdemeanor after he obtained Meyer’s expunged records relating to a drunk driving arrest.

The Westcott mentality about “anti-racism” has found plenty of support in Highland Park, the wealthy and predominantly white enclave of Dallas. Chart Westcott’s Twitter feed is full of posts decrying critical race theory. He also voiced support of UNC-Chapel Hill denying tenure to author Nikole Hannah-Jones, who oversaw the publication of the 1619 Project for New York Times Magazine.

In many ways, Highland Park is ground zero for the debate about curtailing discussions of race, gender, and diversity, especially in the classroom. Texas State Rep. Steve Toth disclosed in a letter to colleagues that his impetus for writing the school censorship bill HB 3979 was after a picture book about combatting racism, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, had been recommended at a Highland Park elementary school.

HB 3979 was passed in the State Affairs Committee of the Texas Senate after State Sen. Bryan Hughes brought back the bill after it was removed from the calendar with virtually no public notice. Hughes then limited testimony to just 45 minutes. It now heads to the larger Senate.Whether Moon comes back to the Real Housewives of Dallas (or the show even returns at all) is up in the air. The Bravo Network did post on Instagram that they stand with the AAPI community and that “anti-racism is, in fact, not a form of racism.” According to Variety, Moon issued a warning against the Westcotts through her attorney, and called their accusations “reckless, defamatory and appalling.”

Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images for alice + olivia

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A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).

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