Will Season 8 be the end of ‘Vanderpump Rules’?
Vanderpump Rules has been a Bravo staple for the past eight years. The reality series follows the lives of restaurant mogul Lisa Vanderpump and her employees, but recent scandals have led fans to question whether the series is coming back for a ninth season. Bravo has yet to officially renew Vanderpump Rules and cameras have yet to roll on the next season, despite the series tradition of filming during the summer.
An insider told Us Weekly that the cast has been left in the dark regarding a proper start date. “Cast members still have not heard anything from Bravo regarding picking back up filming VPR again,” they claimed. “They were [originally] set to shoot this summer.”
One major production hurdle is the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on film and television schedules. It’s possible Vanderpump Rules could have been delayed as a result, but it doesn’t explain Bravo’s reluctance to announce its renewal. It also fails to explain why other network hits like The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Orange Country have continued to film without issue.
Vanderpump star Scheana Shay confirmed that the series was on ice during a recent Twitter rant. She clapped back at fans who claimed she was quitting the show to be with her boyfriend. “Y’all just bc I’m moving now, does NOT mean I’m quitting the show, I love my job,” she tweeted. “We aren’t filming right now, SUR/LA is closed. I’m wasting so much money on rent and I’m lonely all the way out in PS.”
The other hurdle is the wave of controversy that spread after stars Kristen Doute and Stassi Schroeder were accused of racist behavior towards fellow cast member Faith Stowers. Doute and Schroeder issued apologies for their actions, but were fired from the series nonetheless. Lisa Vanderpump addressed these shocking personnel changes during a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“Stassi hadn’t worked for me for a couple of years, nor had Kristen, so that part wasn’t down to me really at all,” she stated. “It’s not my decision and I think that was then and this is now. I’m all about giving people second chances, yes, but also about holding people accountable.” Recent Vanderpump additions Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were also fired after a string of their racist tweets resurfaced online.
The repeated accusations of racism has led to fans calling for more diversity amongst the Vanderpump Rules cast. Lisa Vanderpump addressed the show’s lack of diversity through a lengthy Instagram post in which she declared herself a minority “ally.”
“I have always been an equal rights activist and ally — my family, my businesses and I condemn all forms of cruelty, racism, homophobia, bigotry and unequal treatment,” she wrote. “While you only see a fraction of our employees on the show, a specific friend group, across all of our companies, we have always been a very diverse group of people — every color, ethnicity and sexual orientation.”
Vanderpump told Entertainment Tonight that she’s excited to introduce “new cast members” during season 9, but has yet to provide an update on when the series will return. She’s taken a similarly vague stance with regards to her restaurants TomTom, SUR, and Pump. All three establishments reopened in July, but were forced to shut down again at the urging of California governor Gavin Newsom. They remain closed.
Original cast member and TomTom partner Tom Sandoval discussed the current state of Vanderpump Rules with St. Louis’ News 4. He revealed that the future of the series is indeed uncertain, and he knows as little about the upcoming season as fans. “It’s crazy,” he stated. “It definitely changes things and honestly, we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens.”