'Real Housewives of New York' star Eboni K. Williams on the pressure of being first Black cast member

·2 min read

Eboni K. Williams is The Real Housewives of New York's first Black cast member and she's "keenly aware" of what that means.

During Paley's Pop Culture and the Power of Reality TV With Andy Cohen, available exclusively on Yahoo Entertainment, Williams discussed the responsibility she felt joining the popular franchise for Season 13 and the advice she got from fellow Bravo star Garcelle Beauvais.

"It's a distinct honor for me," Williams, an attorney and television host, began while referencing the "very necessary racial reckoning" happening across the country.

"Listen, they could have picked anybody. New York is full of incredible Black women and women of color, so for me to be the first in this space, it's a huge honor," Williams continued. "It's a responsibility, one I'm keenly aware of. I don't represent just myself on this show, I represent Black women in totality. Can I be all Black women all the time? Of course not, it's a fool errand, right? But I definitely do my best to show up in a way that offers a glimpse into the lens of what a Black person in New York might be experiencing."

Eboni K. Williams joins her first season on The Real Housewives of New York, premiering on May 4.
Eboni K. Williams joins her first season on The Real Housewives of New York, premiering on May 4. (Photo: Bravo)

Williams added that she had "a very interesting conversation with Garcelle Beauvais." (Beauvais joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills last year as that show's first Black housewife and returns for Season 11 in May.)

"Her cast mates a little bit tiptoed around her Blackness and the fact that it was a historic moment," Williams explained, noting how her cast was "different."

"Nobody was walking on eggshells and nobody was afraid to just go straight to it," she added.

Luann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan return for Season 13 along with last year's breakout, Leah McSweeney. Williams said she appreciated how they all handled situations during filming.

"I will say being the straight shooter I am, it actually made me much more comfortable and I felt like we could get real honest, real quick," she noted.

Watch more from Cohen, Williams and her co-stars below.

The Real Housewives of New York premieres on Tuesday, May 4 at 9:00 PM ET on Bravo.

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