Freedom Forward’s human rights campaign and a fan boycott made “Real Housewives of Dubai” the lowest ranked “Real Housewives” series in the entire Bravo franchise. As described in Screenrant, “Real Housewives of Dubai” ranked eighth out of the eight “Real Housewives” series. Ratings site TVDeets has reported on how far this series has fallen in comparison to other “Real Housewives” series’ million-plus viewers.
Our human rights campaign (letter pdf, petition, release) intersected with and intensified an organic call to boycott the show driven by angry viewers, including many of LGBT background.
According to entertainment media platform Heavy, the season premiere of #RHODubai had 769,000 viewers, compared to over 1.1 million viewers for the season 12 premier of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” as well as the season 11 premiere of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
The human rights coalition campaign was covered in many entertainment outlets, including Yahoo Entertainment, Radar Online, Heavy.com, The Daily Mail, Screen Rant, The Things, All About the Tea, Reality Blurb and the Youtube show Kempire.
Thanks to someone named “hennycabbagehead,” the campaign also became one of the top posts on the Real Housewives Reddit, where many fans gather.
Why Focus on the UAE and Real Housewives of Dubai?
We targeted the reality television series because it served as soft propaganda for the UAE dictatorship and helped hide the UAE rulers’ human rights crimes:
- Kidnapping women: The ruler of Dubai kidnapped his own adult daughters and has held one of them in drugged captivity for over 20 years.
- Rape: A top member of the U.A.E. ruling family still hasn’t been investigated or prosecuted after being accused of rape by British national Caitlin McNamara.
- War in Yemen: The rulers of Dubai and the U.A.E. have helped kill thousands of women and men through their war in the country of Yemen.
- Homophobia: The U.A.E. criminal code includes language on “sin,” “indecency,” and “sodomy” that can be used to persecute gay or lesbian couples and LGBTQ communities.
Coalition partners included Action Corps, Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues, CODEPINK, European Centre For Democracy and Human Rights, FairSquare, Health Advocacy International, Human Rights Sentinel, Just Foreign Policy, Last Mile4D, Peace Action, and ReThinking Foreign Policy.