Summer House is making huge strides in presenting a diversified cast and last night’s episode hit a milestone with two full-time Latino cast members sharing the screen for the first time.
Long-time cast member Danielle Olivera made her first appearance of the season in the second episode of the Bravo reality series. The app developer met Chris Leoni, who joined the show in its current seventh season, and shared a sweet moment together.
Leoni was paired up with Olivera in a game of cornhole against Kyle Cooke and Samantha Feher. It was Feher that noted that the paired-up teammates could be siblings.
“We could,” Olivera acknowledged and telling Leoni that she was Puerto Rican.
Leoni then asked Olivera if she spoke Spanish to which she replied, “Un poquito,” which translates to English as “A little bit.”
“I am Hondurian and Uruguayan,” Leoni said in Spanish.
The moment was small but for Bravo viewers that are Latino, this scene was impactful as it showcases that they can also be part of spaces like the Hamptons, where Summer House is filmed.
Later on in the episode, Leoni opened up about his background saying that his parents enforced the idea of prioritizing his career over anything else.
“When I was in high school, my mom said, ‘No girlfriends at all. I don’t want to see you with girls, I want you guys to be studying, I want you guys to get A’s… We didn’t come over here for you guys to go mess around with girls and then drop out,'” Leoni said during his confessional.
Leoni explained that his mother is from Honduras and his father is from Uruguay adding, “Coming to America is literally one of the hardest and biggest things for any immigrant to do. I just want to make sure I make my parents proud.”
Olivera shared a post on her Instagram Stories of the scenes with Leoni adding, “It was honestly SO great to have this happen – more moments to come. Now I just need Chris Leoni to hang with me in the city! When I get back to the city… Primo [Cousin]!!!”
Summer House has not been afraid to open up about race issues. Last year, Mya Allen opened up to her fellow castmates about the microaggressions she had experienced from her co-stars that are predominately white. The impactful episode showcased the house coming together to address the issues and making a bigger effort to make her feel included.
In an interview with ET from March 2022, Allen said she raised her voice for the other cast members of color like Ciara Miller, Olivera and Alex Wach.
“I thought it had to be said,” she said. “It had to be known that these are the feelings and the emotions that I’m going through while being here and to be my friend, you have to understand that. So I think that’s a conversation that everybody should be having. It shouldn’t be scary. It’s part of life. This is America. That’s what we deal with.”
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