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Scheana Shay Addresses ‘VPR’ Backlash, Claims She Heard Show Would Be Canceled Due to Lack of Drama

Scheana Shay broke her silence about the Vanderpump Rules season 11 backlash by discussing the meeting with producers that changed the course of the show.

During the Friday, May 31, episode of her “Scheananigans” podcast, Scheana, 39, addressed claims that an offscreen conversation with producers pushed cast members to interact with Tom Sandoval after his cheating scandal with Rachel “Raquel” Leviss.

“It was a whole season of feeling like we all kind of had to walk on eggshells. I know [executive producer] Alex Baskin has said that midseason, the show was not in a good place,” Scheana claimed. “It was, you know, ‘X, Y and Z needs to happen. Or we’re going to have a short season and the show’s going to be canceled and that’s it. Go live your lives.’”

The conversation affected how Scheana and Lala Kent approached the rest of the season. “I think Lala and I felt a lot of pressure after that day when it was like, ‘Well, we don’t want the show to get canceled,'” Scheana added.

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Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules picked back up three months after Sandoval’s affair made headlines. While most of the cast initially sided with Ariana Madix following her split from Sandoval, their loyalties shifted as they kept filming the rest of the season.

Scheana Shay Addresses VPR Backlash Claims She Was Told Show Would Be Canceled Due to Lack of Drama
Scheana Shay Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Baskin, meanwhile, spoke to The New York Times for a February profile of Sandoval, 41, that mentioned the changes that happened behind the scenes.

“As filming for the new season got underway, Bravo had a problem. The cast had turned on Sandoval; Madix refused to interact with him altogether. In July, Baskin and the network brought the cast into Evolution’s offices for what he called a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment,” the article read. “But he was no longer talking to 20-something waiters. ‘We can still squeeze a great season out of it,’ he said, ‘But going forward, I don’t know.'”

Scheana elaborated on what made her more willing to forgive Sandoval on screen.

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“There’s a crew of 80 to 100 people who work on this show. And I said this at the reunion — which you didn’t see — but I was like, ‘I feel like we’re doing our jobs also for all of these people. We want to keep this going.’ And so when someone does just walk away, they don’t care if the show ends, it’s not just about us,” she continued on Friday. “There’s so many more people that do rely on this, and that’s where it just got really hard because I’m like, I do understand and respect your boundaries, but it just made it really difficult.”

Scheana Shay Addresses VPR Backlash Claims She Was Told Show Would Be Canceled Due to Lack of Drama
Griffen Nagel/Bravo

After the season 11 reunion wrapped up on Tuesday, May 28, Scheana and Lala, 33, were under scrutiny for the way they pressured Ariana, 38, to film with Sandoval. Lala has since issued a statement apologizing for the way she spoke about fans when they questioned her behavior. Scheana, meanwhile, largely stood by her decision to fight for the future of Vanderpump Rules.

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“Watching it back and this is not me — even though people will probably say it is — trying to backpedal or gain 1 percent of the audience back. I think I’ve lost who I’ve lost, and maybe there will be a season 12, and people will understand more of me,” she explained. “But I feel like with Ariana walking away, after we filmed the reunion and all of that, I do feel a little differently.”

Scheana concluded: “I always see both sides. I completely understand Lala. Then I also understand Ariana being like, ‘But this isn’t real and we’re supposed to film our real lives.’ So there are two things that can be true at the same time. And seeing her stand her ground, I’m like, ‘OK, respect. You didn’t cave, and you held on to your boundary.'”

Vanderpump Rules season 11 is currently streaming on Peacock.

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