Southern Charm’s Kathryn Dennis has realized her white privilege and wants to get it right (exclusive)

Kathryn Dennis was wrong. There is no other way to put it, and she is not making excuses for her mistake. When the Southern charm Star had a DM fight with a black radio host and activist over a boat parade in support of Donald Trump’s re-election in Charleston, South Carolina, last summer, she wasn’t thinking. His use of a monkey emoji in a fight with a black person was simply wrong. His comments about the activist using his “minority platform” even worse. She knows it now and hopes to show it to people.

“I think it would be great to see someone who had to realize that they had white privilege and then turn that into the other side,” the 29-year-old tells ET by phone. “Once you figure that out, what do you do with it? That’s where I am, and I’m working on it.”

“It’s not me saying what I did was right, or anything like that,” he says. “It’s just admitting that I made a mistake and, yeah, I really didn’t have to grow up thinking about these kinds of things or having difficult conversations like this. I know that speaks to my privilege, but that’s why I say this was a call from attention to me. “

It is yet to be determined if Kathryn returns for season 8 of Southern charm (the show has yet to officially resume, though it’s safe to assume viewers haven’t seen the last of the Enchanters), but it feels good, or at least good, with where things left off in season 7. In part two of the meeting, which aired Thursday night, Kathryn told host Andy Cohen: “Things are bigger than you and sometimes you just have to accept the humility you have to learn.”

Words are one thing, actions another, and Kathryn promises that there are actions behind her words. Like many white people, Kathryn began to read a lot about race and privilege when the Black Lives Matter movement emerged in 2020 following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more black Americans at the hands of the police. She says her relationship with her boyfriend Chleb Ravenell, who is black, has been instrumental in her understanding of the world beyond her privileged bubble. The two started dating before the scandal, but became “official” after the fact.

“By being around Chleb and his friends and his family who are honestly mostly black, I have learned the way they do things and move [in the world], and the conversations they have between them, and the fight, “shares.” There really isn’t any class you can take on this matter, you know? Just experience. “

Last year introduced a significant learning curve for white people across the board, with Kathryn learning in public view amid a storm. However, he wouldn’t get any of that back.

“It has been a long road, but I would not return at all,” he says. “Not just in the last year, but in the last eight years. It all led me to where I am now, which is really good, and moving forward, I feel like I am a better person, so I can” be anything but grateful “.

“I would like people to know that I am really sorry for what happened,” he adds. “Obviously I’m very ashamed of what happened and what happened. I know better. I know better, now I know.”

Part of Kathryn’s behavior in season 7, from scandal to getting defensive and even spreading gossip about former co-stars, led some fans to proclaim that “old Kathryn” was back, that all the work and growth that she What he had shown in seasons 5 and 6 was just for show.

“There is no ‘old Kathryn’ or ‘new Kathryn’,” declares Kathryn. “I’m learning who Kathryn is, and unfortunately the friends and people around you don’t always stick around when you’re growing up, you know? Instead, they want to jump on your mistakes and say you’re reverting to old behaviors, but I will never let you. that depresses me. “

Kathryn lost a few friends through this ordeal (she is still close to Danni Baird and friendly with Leva Bonaparte, who had the most difficult conversations with Kathryn during the season), but that’s just a fact that she has accepted. She says that she has chosen to focus on herself and what she can do to move forward rather than thinking about what she has lost. He also learned that his instinct to run away and hide from conflict no longer works.

“It made me realize that I needed to speak for myself and face the controversy, and it is not an option in life,” she admits. “It is not always an option whether or not you want to do something, I have realized. It is the right thing, for my life. Not just for my emotional stability.”

Kathryn says she went into a six- to eight-month slump in the wake of the scandal, and attributes her drastic weight loss to the stress it caused. However, he turned that into a positive, starting regular workouts with Chleb. The whole situation made him take a look at the big picture and realize that he craved more structure in all aspects of his life. She calls the scandal the “kick in the butt I needed,” and says she’d like to use a possible season 8 to continue the conversation about white privilege.

“The show has been a great platform to do a lot of growth, and if I go back, it would just be to show positivity and move in the right direction,” he says. “All of this really opened my eyes to how much growth I had left to do. I really think it’s easy for people to say, or assume in their life, that they know everything they need to know and are fine and I understood it, but this really it opened my eyes to the reality that no, we don’t all understand everything and that’s okay, and life is about continuing to learn. “

Season 8 would probably also introduce Chleb to the Southern charm audience, beyond what Kathryn posts on social media.

“Chleb is real,” he gushes. “He knows I’m not the person who sent that text message. He plays it all right, which helped me regain my confidence to get back in the public eye and be able to apologize and face him head-on, honestly. Many, too. … he gets a lot of bad messages too, so we’ve had to lean on each other through all of this, but luckily he’s been helping me and I’ve been helping him get past the reality TV lens on top of that. “

“They threw him out there, and it’s unfortunate that the world had to watch him, but at the same time it was good for us,” he adds, noting that he no longer read his comments on social media due to the racist vitriol that some choose to spit out on his mentions.

Kathryn says she “definitely” sees a future with her new man, and says that he is best friends with her sons, Kensie and Saint, whom she shares with her ex Thomas Ravenel (no relation to Chleb, who spells his last name Ravenell). .

“We fight like a normal couple, but with each fight you get a lot more understanding, you know?” she says. “And I feel like I’ve become a lot more adult through this experience and so has he. I definitely feel like we’re building a great future together. Not just a future, we’re building a great one.”

There’s still a bit more of season 7 to watch. Southern charm: secrets revealed, a special episode with never-before-seen footage and cast commentary, airs Thursday, February 11 at 8 pm ET / PT on Bravo.

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