Sure, the #RichKids of Beverly Hills are incredibly wealthy. Everyone’s talking about that. But here’s something much fewer people seem to have noticed: #RichKids also has one of the most diverse casts on television. Of the reality show’s five main characters, one is gay and two are of ethnic minorities. Given that layout, straight white characters are actually the minority on the show.
Wetpaint Entertainment spoke exclusively with cast member Jonny Drubel, and the 25-year-old singer/songwriter tells us he’s incredibly excited about the impact his show is making.
“Honestly, I'm really proud of E!,” he tells us. “E! is a major network, and for them to put not only me as a main cast member but also to bring in EJ [Johnson], who’s also well known in the gay community, and to put him on screen has been fantastic.” EJ, the son of basketball legend Magic Johnson, isn’t one of the five core cast members. But he’s appeared in both of the show’s first two episodes, and Jonny says he’ll be around most of the season.
“There’s been a very positive outreach of people being able to relate to me, to Dorothy, to Roxy, to every character on the show,” he says.
The morning after #RichKids’ premiere on Sunday, January 19, Jonny woke up to a flood of emails. People were reaching out through his website, writing things like, “‘Thank you for doing that. I appreciate you standing up for the gay community. I’m actually coming out right now to my parents.’”
“That made me, that was it. That was worth it,” Jonny says. ”I woke up to hundreds of emails. Fifty I counted were just coming out stories. That made me really happy.”
But Jonny wants to make one thing clear. Yes, he is gay. But that doesn’t mean that all gay men are going to be exactly like him. “I’ll be honest,” he tells us. “I’ve had certain people say, ‘You’re not representing the gay community in the best way.’”
Here’s the thing: Not all gay men are the same. They don’t all have the same personality. They don’t all act the same way.
“I’m gonna say this right now, I think it would be very hard to represent a community that’s so diverse. We’re a very diverse community, and I think that to label us all as just one community is very difficult,” Jonny says.
He lives a fabulous life. He has a flair for the dramatic. But not every gay person is going to be just like him. “I’m not trying to represent the gay community as a whole. I’m just trying to be myself,” he says. “And I just happen to be gay.”
#RichKids of Beverly Hills airs Sundays at 10pm on E!