Crisis Management Expert Tells Us How Bravo Can Overcome Recent Controversies

Bravo fans know that the network thrives on drama. Sometimes, though, all press really isn't good press. Bravo has found itself wrapped up in some controversies as of late that weren't quite as desirable as the wild plot lines on its popular reality shows. Fans want to see Bravo take accountability. But, will the network actually be able to bounce back? We talked to a crisis management expert about what Bravo's next move should really be.

"Real Housewives of New York City" star Ramona Singer's alleged racist comments have taken the Bravo world by storm. Furthermore, "Real Housewives" cast member Brandi Glanville allegedly kissed cast mate Caroline Manzo without her consent, sparking a feud and related controversy that caused the pair to leave the show early. As a result, rumor has it that Season 5 of "The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip, which was filmed in Morocco, may be so controversial that it won't make it to air. 

Bravo is clearly feeling some effects of controversy that aren't so desirable. This can be difficult to turn around in the eyes of the public. Even so, according to Eden Gillott of Gillott Communications, a crisis management expert, it can be done. But, the network's next moves are vital to maintaining its reputation. All in all, Bravo needs to keep the drama going for its fans but crackdown when stars take things too far. 

Bravo has the opportunity to change reality TV

"In the world of reality TV, drama is a given and controversy a currency. For Bravo, the real challenge lies in handling these issues without losing its entertainment essence," Eden Gillott told us. "Controversy sells, but only up to a point." Fans know that drama is what fuels series like "The Real Housewives" franchise. Plenty of folks love watching the fights and feuds in the various "Real Housewives" series or the makeups and breakups in reality shows like "Summer House." However, there are lines that stars can cross to lose the public's support, and this counts even for the zaniest, biggest personalities in reality television.

Bravo is a major force in the reality TV world, and Gillott believes that the network should use this to its advantage and pioneer a new era of reality television. "While most people tune into reality TV to tune out on their own lives, Bravo has a unique opportunity here," Gillott explained. "There is a growing call for social responsibility, and Bravo can get on board sooner rather than later. It can transform these fiery situations into forums for meaningful social dialogue." 

While navigating their way out of a bad PR situation may be Bravo's goal, Gillott believes that they can actually change a negative situation into something positive and, in her words, "transcend mere damage control by distance to steering critical conversations in an industry often ruled by sensationalism."

Bravo's stars will need to get on board with the network's new direction

Reality TV will always depend on drama; it would be far too boring to watch otherwise. However, that doesn't mean the network must tolerate inappropriate conduct to keep its shows on the air. To the contrary, actually — as audiences expect more from the stars they watch, the stars will need to step up and take responsibility for their actions. 

"The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip" season that's set in Morocco may be on the chopping block thanks to the sexual assault allegations against "Real Housewives" star Brandi Glanville. Fellow star of the franchise, Camille Grammer, has spoken out on X, formerly known as Twitter, calling it "a really great show and it should be aired." She added, "I didn't see anything that crazy while filming that I have not seen before over the years." 

This attitude just may be part of the problem. As the world progresses and audiences change, Bravo will have to follow suit. And, facilitating important conversations is an important first step. According to Eden Gillott, "The network's ultimate success hinges on its ability to align with both its stars and its audience's evolving preferences."