We Need To Talk About Andy Cohen

Phaylen Fairchild
8 min readOct 12, 2023

The Bravo hitmaker and executive producer of the global television franchise “Real Housewives” has built an empire off the backs of women around the world.

The smash franchise launched in 2006 with The Real Housewives of Orange County and has since expanded to ensconce groups of diverse women from 11 different US cities and 21 International hotspots. The series was created by producer Scott Dunlop, but has been predominantly shaped by Bravo TV executive Andy Cohen.

You probably know Cohen, who has leveraged the popularity of the show and its colorful cast of women to cast himself as a late night TV talk show host, author and overseer of his own sprawling Sirius Radio Channel, cleverly titled “Radio Andy,” home to many of the quirky Bravo personalities crutching up the Cohen empire.

With the recent writers guild and actors strike, the Bravo hitmaker has found himself under a microscope as former Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel (Real Housewives of New York City) raised a red flag and asked why Reality TV stars aren’t unionized. It was a valid question that fetched tremendous support from former and current colleagues across the genre that has become a cultural phenom spawning over a dozen spinoffs of the central series (Luann and Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake, Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.)

Let’s be honest, the franchise of Real Housewives has been known to disrupt marriages, families, resulted in multiple women (And, in at least one case, their husband) indicted or going to prison. In the early days of the particularly grim Beverley Hills entry, an abused woman hid her husbands violence from cameras before he ultimately committed suicide before the next season filmed. With all the attention Cohen has garnered from his throne in recent weeks, audiences, including die-hard fans are taking a closer look at the often macabre history of Cohen’s very real and increasingly dark legacy.

Some might dismiss the more pertinent talking points as it being solely the fault of fame-hungry women desperate for a limelight, while others are convinced Cohen has a decades long history of exploiting women to climb his own ladder to wealth and stardom. One doesn’t need to look far to see a complex history with women, including Kathy Griffin, the fabulously foul-mouthed comedian…

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Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com