What the hell is going on in Beverly Hills?
Not necessarily on TV (although I have a few questions).
But the social media storm surrounding this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills hit a spectacular new low after a targeted bot campaign attacked a performer’s young child.
Let’s go back a little. On the show — and online — tension was brewing between Beverly Hills housewife Garcelle Beauvais, a vocal and acclaimed fan favorite of the show’s passionate audience, and… just about everyone else in her cast. Lisa Rinna suggested that fans of Beauvais used the race to dodge criticism of her from other cast members (Rinna and several other show veterans refer to themselves as Fox Force), for which she later apologized.
Erika Girardi (see also: Jayne) suggested on Bravo’s after-show YouTube series that Beauvais was disingenuous when she asked questions about her drinking and out-of-control behavior and was actually seeking revenge after Girardi killed her married son Oliver had suggested considering a threesome. and cursed her 14-year-old child Jax. Dorit Kemsley agreed.
And there’s Sanela Diana Jenkins, who said on last week’s episode that Beauvais was the most reserved person in the cast, while Rinna responded that Beauvais was too “anxious” to hear Jenkins’ criticism. Jenkins, a new housewife whose Q-score may need to be measured with a stethoscope after a hugely unpopular inaugural season on the show, has repeatedly posted against Beauvais on Instagram over the past week. One such post: “Life is long and I’m playing a long game. This isn’t the face of someone being pushed around. Ye! Play on B*%H*!”
She also posted over the weekend that Beauvais hadn’t been empathetic about Jenkins’ recent miscarriage, which was discussed on the show. Jenkins said Beauvais, a “fan favorite” (that’s the only thing we agree on), can get away with anything.
“Go trolls,” she concluded. “Do your worst.”
And someone did.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a spate of Instagram comments began appearing on Beauvais’ baby son Jax’s Instagram account starting Monday night. Nasty, rude and identical comments flooded in, saying Beauvais had no right to criticize Girardi’s drinking “when your older brother was a drug addict” and accused Beauvais of being the reason for her talk show the real one was recently canceled, and telling Jax Beauvais he’s “desperate,” a “fame hunter,” a “hypocrite,” “Tell your mom to leave Erika, Lisa Rinna, and Diana alone.”
What seemed like a sudden and confusing way for Diana supporters (lol) to defend their icon became clearer when the Bravo community examined the accounts behind those comments. Creators like @FaceReality16, @BravoBravoDuckingBravo, @BravoHistorian, @TheTalkOfShame, and myself have posted receipts proving that the individual accounts — which contained avatars of young, attractive, white women — were in fact bots.
They may have been using the services of a bot farm and appear to have been purchased for a campaign aimed directly at Jax. Someone coordinated an online attack on a child using Rinna, Girardi, and particularly Jenkins in vocal supportive comments parroting criticism of Beauvais from the same members of the cast.
Who would do such a thing? And why?
Posting on social media, Beauvais asked that her children be kept away from online fights, noting that she had spent the night crying and several members of the cast – Rinna, Kemsley, Crystal Kung Minkoff, Sutton Stracke, Kathy Hilton and Kyle Richards – joined in support of Beauvais’ son, posting on social media that children should be kept out of entry.
Meanwhile, Girardi and Jenkins remained silent about Jax while continuing to post about other things on their accounts. Girardi has posted on Instagram and Twitter about new music she would be releasing soon (arguably a different kind of threat). Jenkins, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, once again shared celebratory greetings and deleted swarms of comments about Jax made in recent posts.
And then things got worse when comments on Jax’s Instagram included death threats. He shared another particularly sinister comment, suggesting that Jax “would have your neck kneeling on it if it wasn’t for your white daddy. Tell your mother to leave Diana alone or you take care of us.”
And not even a death threat seemingly made in her honor inspired Jenkins to speak out.
She has not, and up to the time of this writing, not approached what appears to be a calculated and ugly campaign aimed squarely at a housewife’s child and offering her support.
Some viewers have hypothesized that this was a crude way to anger Beauvais enough to hasten an exit from the show. One fan theory has it that Fox Force’s crumbling empire, including one of its newest members, is threatened by Beauvais’s popularity with audiences and their seeming unwillingness to engage in negative storylines about actress Sutton Stracke. Since Beauvais didn’t want to join Fox Force, the accounts went after what is most precious to her: her vulnerable child.
While Girardi and Jenkins — as has the network — have been selectively silent, Garcelle shared an update from Jax on her Instagram Stories today, thanking supporters and reiterating that he is a child and not a full-blown adult who is left unaddressed should be like a member of the cast.
As Jax noted, “Middle-aged women spamming me with racist and rude comments about my family is not what I expected for my first week of high school.”
It’s ironic that Jenkins accused Beauvais of being unsympathetic on social media given her silence about a deeply troubling circumstance for Jax and his family.
It’s also an unsettling new low for the franchise and its participants: women who aren’t exactly known for coming “from a place of love.” While Housewives’ children have received negative comments online — including Portia Umansky, Richards’ teenage daughter — there has never been a bot farm procured to attack a cast member’s child, under the guise of certain other members of the cast To defend.
It’s also the second time this season that Jax himself said he was hurt and traumatized as a result of the show. He is a child whose innocence, age and race have been used against him. He was treated like a vessel in the service of revenge, and certainly not with the same level of decency accorded to the children of other housewives in the cast.
Diana has continued to post on social media, sharing more birthday greetings on Instagram Stories and posting in support of Ukraine. She has continued to delete numerous negative comments related to Jax.
Jenkins thanked her family this afternoon for having “the best birthday ever.”
One can’t help but wonder if she got her wish.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/obsessed/garcelle-beauvais-son-jax-getting-death-threats-from-diana-jenkins-real-housewives-fan-army?source=articles&via=rss Garcelle Beauvais’ son Jax receives death threats from Diana Jenkins’ Real Housewives fan army