Are you seated? Good, because this one’s a doozy. It turns out—get this—the stars of The Real Friends Of WeHo aren’t really friends! *gasp* They also don’t all live in WeHo! *faints from the shock*

Yes, you read that right. MTV’s controversial new reality show—you know, the reason Drag Race episodes fly by in less than an hour—is something of a sham. And, apparently, not even the cast members really knew what they were getting into.

All of the piping hot tea was revealed in a Love B. Scott interview with Real Friends cast member Dorión Renaud, an entrepreneur best known as the CEO of Buttah, one of the top Black-owned skincare companies in the world.

From the Drag Race scheduling controversy to the negative audience feedback to the show’s dubious casting methods, Renaud gets honest about it all in the scorching interview… but let’s start at the beginning.

The businessman says he was first approached for the show way back in March of 2021 under the impression that it would be a reboot/spin-off of Logo’s erstwhile gay reality show, The A-List (which aired two seasons in New York and one in Dallas).

“I was told it was going to be docuseries style that followed me working on my brand and showing parts of my personal life,” Renaud shares. “Also, I was told the show would be on the streaming service Paramount+. I initially said no several times, but finally signed my contract at the last minute.”

He says that, throughout the “courting” process, production had been updating him on other names that were being approached for the cast, everyone from former NSYNC-er Lance Bass to Riley Buss, whose family owns the Los Angeles Lakers. But they were ultimately tight-lipped on who else officially signed on.

“Aside from Curtis [Hamilton] who I’ve been friends with for a few years, I had no idea who was on the show until filming,” Renaud reveals.

That explains some of the drama that capped off the Real Friends premiere, in which Renaud gets into it with his co-star, influencer Joey Zauzig. As he tells it, he didn’t know who Zauzig was—and wasn’t even sure he was part of the cast.

Ultimately, he blames his “post-pandemic” social anxiety for acting out the way he did, admitting he “didn’t handle it the best.”

Renaud also addresses the rumor that he was the cast member that refused to work with OnlyFans star Chris Salvatore, which allegedly resulted in the latter’s axing from the show:

“Production kept me in the dark for so long about the cast, there’s no way I could say who comes and goes,” he shares.

Honestly? That checks out, especially when you consider Renaud didn’t even know the series would be airing on MTV—or that it would now be called The Real Friends Of WeHo—until he saw the official press announcement.

“I found out in the press release, we had no idea it was going to MTV and that it would take away from Drag Race,” the entrepreneur discloses. “I watch Drag Race and I love Ru, he’s iconic. Again, I was still under the impression this was the A-List: Los Angeles for Paramount+ so I was shocked to find out it was going to MTV. I didn’t sign up for MTV.”

“I also didn’t see the poster beforehand,” Renaud continues. “I saw it at the same time as everyone else and that’s where I had a serious issue. They promoted the show as six gay men living in West Hollywood who are friends. First, I don’t live in West Hollywood, I live in the valley—I love the valley. I never go to West Hollywood, I’m not in that scene.”

Interestingly, Renaud also says he has “never confirmed or talked about” his sexuality, and that he “felt betrayed” because the show identifies him as something he’s not. In the interview, he doesn’t clarify what that means—he simply adds, “I’m Dorian Renaud.”

As the interview points out, the businessman first made a name for himself as a cast member of BET’s College Hill—a series focused on students at HBCUs—so he’s no stranger to shadiness and dishonesty from “reality TV” production. This time around, however, he’s been able to stick up for himself, but was told he couldn’t leave the series and should just be a “happy camper” promoting the show.

“But I will not promote something that I cannot stand behind,” Renaud declares. [As of this posting, no mention of Real Friends can be found on Renaud’s Instagram page.]

With that in mind, the Buttah CEO asks audiences to give the cast some grace because they were all left in the dark, and that “everything in regards to scheduling” was out of their control.

“It’s crazy we are getting no support,” he shares. “There are people saying the most negative stuff online, some have gotten death threats and we aren’t getting any support from the network or production company. It’s not the cast fault that we ended up on MTV. I would not have signed on to this show if I knew about the name change, the theme of the show changing and the network change. I don’t feel comfortable representing a city/community that I’m not a part of.”

Renaud’s seen the controversies, as well as all the hate for Real Friends—he gets it, on some level. In spite of that, he maintains he still hopes for the best for his colleagues: “Although I may not have worked a lot with the cast, I want to see everyone succeed.”

The Real Friends Of WeHo continues to air new episodes every Friday on MTV, right after Drag Race.

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