The Real Housewives reality TV franchise isn't limited to the United States -- and neither is cultural insensitivity when it comes to Native American culture and regalia.
Bravo TV is currently airing a spinoff series from Australia, The Real Housewives of Melbourne, and like all the other versions of the show it finds entertainment value in the outrageousness of its characters. On episode 3 of the show, which aired August 10, one couple, Jackie and Ben, donned his-and-hers feather headdresses they'd received as housewarming gifts, and danced in stereotypical Hollywood-Indian fashion. Jackie, who is a professional psychic, remarked "Feathers are angels. Angels are all around me, blessing me always."
Author Chelsey Luger with Cannupa Hanska Luger, who is her cousin. Photo by Martin Sensmeier.
Ben, Jackie's husband, is the drummer for Australian band Silverchair.
Interestingly, a recap of the show posted to an Australian entertainment site mused "If this happened on one of the US versions of the show… Fill in the dots."
The New York Observer called the couple out in their insensitivity. "We thought this episode couldn’t get less politically correct than it already was, but then we watched what happened when Lydia and Andrea revealed the mysterious housewarming gift. ... Native American headdresses, made even more awkward by the song and dance Jackie and Ben do once they put them on."