Andy Cohen Rightly Defends ‘RHOBH’ Inclusion of Russell Armstrong

andy cohenAndy Cohen can do no wrong in my book. The Bravo exec who brought light into our lives with such gems as the Real Housewives series and Top Chef, he's got enough bonus points in this world to last him three lifetimes. So when he opened up to the press earlier this week and discussed how he made the decision to keep Taylor's husband Russell Armstrong in the second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills despite his suicide in August, I knew he'd say all the right things.

Naturally, Mr. Bravo did not disappoint. On his controversial conclusion, he remarked:


He was given the option to not come back or come back and he chose to come back. He had spoken to producers a lot vocally about how it had helped his business being on the show ... We had many discussions, as you can imagine ... And I think what emerged is the story of a woman trying to extricate herself from a bad, broken marriage in which she was unhappy and in which domestic violence played a part. And that was the story that wound up emerging from the season.

Succinct yet informative, Cohen has a point. No one forced Russell to be on the show, and from what it sounds like, Russell was happy with the publicity he was receiving. I'm sure being on the show did help his business, how could it not have?

In hindsight, that was probably a poor choice to appear on the show -- this season we've seen his marriage to Taylor crumble as allegations of abuse erupted like an angry volcano. That sort of publicity isn't good for anyone.

I'm certain Bravo faced a major crossroads when trying to decide whether or not to edit Russell out of the show, but I think Andy's right ... "what emerged is the story of a woman" that is completely real, totally heartbreaking, and absolutely tragic. We've seen Taylor and Russell go through hell this season, and if I'm being honest, their relationship is the most real part of this reality show.

It's Cohen's job to produce an entertaining TV show, but at the same time, I'm positive he wants to do it in a sensitive yet realistic manner. Keeping Russell as a part of season two gave viewers an open window to look upon their lives ... a window, mind you, that Taylor and Russell willingly threw wide open for everyone. To somehow shut that window would've been to shut out the truth -- clearly not something Cohen was willing to do, nor should he have been.

What do you think about Andy Cohen's statements on Russell Armstrong?


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