2020 was quite a year, and it wasn’t any easier for Bravo’s master of ceremonies, Andy Cohen.
In a new interview, the Watch What Happens Live host and Housewives reunion ringmaster spoke about a “traumatic” and “upsetting” year, which included some especially difficult events for him, like re-homing his dog Wacha, testing positive for the coronavirus, and engaging in some challenging conversations at Bravo HQ.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic becoming a central focus for three Bravo shows currently airing, also taking center stage in the Bravoverse is this summer’s social justice movement as Black Lives Matter protests raged across the country.
“As much as you might try to tell a story of X, Y or Z, real life will come barging through the doors,” Andy told The New York Times. “And that’s what these shows are about. Those are sociological intersections that I can appreciate and celebrate.”
The executives at Bravo made some tough “decisions for that moment” Andy said regarding the firings of numerous cast members, including Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute from Vanderpump Rules over past racially insensitive behavior. Andy hinted that watching the Pump Rules cast members actually deal with their actions and consequences on the show might have been the better route.
He stated, “It’s more interesting to sit in the moment with people that you have a rooting interest in and watch them find their way than it is just turning out the lights and forgetting it existed.”
He also admitted that his view may be “an unpopular opinion.”
In addition to Pump Rules, fans also called for the axing of other questionable characters in that same sense, like Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Kelly Dodd and Southern Charm‘s Kathryn Dennis after similar race-related incidents made headlines.
Some fans even called for the canceling of Southern Charm even after the network took down past episodes that contained some controversial subject matter.
“Why shouldn’t it be on? Do we want to cancel the South?” Andy questioned, adding how important it was for him to remain neutral for an audience actually split evenly down the conservative and liberal line. “I’m the guy that people have their reckonings with. On Bravo, I’m the designated debate moderator.”
In addition to leading some tough conversations and decision-making at Bravo, the Superficial author detailed his life at home early on in the pandemic, reflecting on how hard the situation was while trying to care for his one-year-old son Ben.
“It was lonely … hearing my son down the hall but not being able to see him,” he shared of being isolated in his apartment. “I don’t want to overdramatize it, because I didn’t think I was going to die, but there were a few moments at the beginning of feeling like, ‘OK, well, this is incredibly isolating, this is scary.’”
The COVID situation may have been lonely for the 52-year-old, but he’s in no hurry to settle down anytime soon. After his last public relationship with John Hill, a musical theater actor, the single dad seems to be more considerate when it comes to entering into a partnership, considering the newfound challenges of raising a child.
“I’m fairly set in my ways. There’s a lot of baggage that comes with me, whether you want to call it good baggage or bad baggage, it is baggage. And add a child to that? That’s like, whoa,” he shared, adding that he started showing off photos of baby Ben on dates, which ended up “freaking people out.”
“Yeah. You know, whatever. I’m still single,” he remarked. “What can I tell you, OK?”
Photo Credit: Tony DiMaio/startraksphoto.com, Tommy Garcia/Bravo