The stars of MTV’s new reality series, The Real Friends of WeHo, are making it clear that initial suggestions from social media users who claim they’re trying to emulate the dramatic Real Housewives franchise are wrong.
Gay icons Brad Goreski, Todrick Hall, Curtis Hamilton, Dorión Renaud, Jaymes Vaughan and Joey Zauzig have all teamed up to put their lives on display for the show – but they argue that this is where the similarities to the hit Bravo show lie end up.
Speaking exclusively to , Jaymes – who married Jonathan Bennett in March – said: “I wouldn’t have signed up if this was going to be like Real Housewives. It didn’t happen because we wanted to be reality stars.”
The entertainment news host added: “I think what’s special about our show is that when there’s a conflict, there’s also a resolution. You can see things getting back to a place where everyone is rooting for one another and has each other’s backs.
The cast of The Real Friends of WeHo have explained how their new MTV reality series differs from the Real Housewives franchise
“I think that’s why the Real Housewives comparison isn’t fair. We’re in a place where we have each other’s backs instead of tearing each other down.
The TV star, who runs OUTbound with his husband, explains: “I’m thrilled because representation still has a long way to go but it’s definitely further along than when we were younger.
“Now is our chance to be that representation. I just want to show young gay kids that they can actually achieve more than they ever dreamed of.”
Celebrity stylist Brad Goreski also dismissed some of the negative reactions to the show’s trailer, adding, “I’m fine being a housewife… just kidding. With these comparisons I think we’re just seeing the landscape of what the internet is like.
Starring gay icons Brad Goreski, Todrick Hall, Curtis Hamilton, Jaymes Vaughan and Joey Zauzig
Celebrity stylist Brad Goreski also dismissed the negative reaction to the show’s trailer, with co-star Todrick Hall urging the LGBTQ+ community to show more support
“There will be people who love something, people who hate something, and if you still feel that way after watching the show, then that’s your opinion. I hope this finds an audience that our stories help to feel more connected to or help educate.”
The synopsis for the show describes it as “an unfiltered and candid look at a select group of friends who live, love and pursue their passions in the West Hollywood community”. It debuts Friday at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT after RuPaul’s Drag Race.
However, the show’s position is causing backlash from Drag Race fans online after it was confirmed that the series’ place between Drag Race and Untucked meant shorter episodes of the popular competition show.
The cast made it clear that they understand viewers’ frustration with the changes, while also asking fans for more understanding of the new cast.
“We love drag race, it’s for the culture and we want to support that. It’s talked about and celebrated on the show by some of the cast, so let’s love one another and be there for one another,” said actor Curtis Hamilton.
Jaymes married “Mean Girls” actor Jonathan Bennett in March and the two co-founded global LGBTQ+ cruise company OUTbound
Social media influencer and entrepreneur Joey Zauzig also shares a glimpse into his life, including a clash with cast member Dorión Renaud, CEO of Buttah
The Insecure star, who publicly came out as gay by appearing on the show, added: “I would love for the community and their allies to come together and be more supportive of each other. Ripping it off isn’t a direction we need to go, especially when you don’t even know what the show is and how you might relate and be able to make something of it.
“Give him a chance first. We opened our hearts and shared our real lives, so it wasn’t easy. I know a lot of people with good intentions got into it. Take the time to figure out what something is before you just go around saying something about it to try and tear it down.’
Choreographer/singer Todrick Hall agreed when he said: “I feel like as an LGBTQ+ community we’re always saying we want more diversity, we’re fighting and we’re always clamoring for more representation.
“But if it looks or comes in the packaging how we wanted it, or doesn’t fully reflect our experience, we don’t support it and even try to destroy it.”
The actor, who has worked with superstars like Beyonce, Taylor Swift and RuPaul, added: “The call comes from the house. It’s really sad to see because you would think that most of these negative comments would come from outside of the queer community, but if you look closer I would say that about 95% of them come from queer people.
The show’s synopsis describes it as an “unfiltered and candid look at a select group of friends who live, love and pursue their passions in the West Hollywood community.”
The series will debut Friday, January 20 at 9:00pm ET/PT following RuPaul’s Drag Race
Jaymes challenged, “As a community, we are so much stronger together. If we have each other’s backs in every room, the people who come at us and try to tear us down can’t do it if we all unite.
Curtis added, “I hope people give it a chance because everyone has an important story to tell and it’s not just some crap where we’re just here to try to be famous with no real ones Having intentions and messages that we’re trying to get across.
“Hopefully people will relate to it and fall in love. I hope this opportunity means I can be someone who is a voice in the community and that viewers can reach out so I can support them.
The show’s main cast also included social media influencer and entrepreneur Joey Zauzig, whom Good Morning America dubbed “the internet’s best friend” in 2022.
As well as Dorión Renaud, CEO of Buttah, who, at just 34, runs one of the world’s leading black-owned skincare companies.
The MTV series will debut on Friday, January 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT after RuPaul’s Drag Race.