Lawyers have been called in over an upcoming episode of The Real Housewives of Auckland, to try to block parts of the episode airing.
The controversy erupted after housewife Julia Sloane allegedly used a racial slur towards fellow housewife Michelle Blanchard. The episode is set to screen on Tuesday night.
Writing on The Spinoff, editor Duncan Greive confirmed the slur is included in the episode and explained how it plays out.
"The Spinoff was granted an exclusive preview of the show last week, and can confirm that incident takes place essentially as described in the story: Julia Sloane refers to Gilda Kirkpatrick treating Michelle Blanchard like her "house n*****" in an exchange which takes place on a boat," he writes.
"Up at the bow Gilda Kirkpatrick, Julia Sloane and Michelle Blanchard are sitting on a squab in the blazing sun. Already there have been ripples of racial tension on the trip: Blanchard and Kirkpatrick are the only two people of colour in the cast and share a villa with Sloane. When they arrive at the villa, Sloane demands the best bedroom "because I'm blonde". The moment hung in the air. Blanchard and Kirkpatrick exchange glances. Then it passed.
"On the boat trip that subcurrent rears up under a brilliant blue sky in one of the most viscerally powerful moments of recent New Zealand television history. Off camera, whilst the crew are elsewhere, Sloane says to Kirkpatrick, "Gilda! Don't let Michelle be your house n*****!"
"We arrive in the immediate aftermath, as Blanchard's still absorbing what the fuck just happened. "Never, ever use the word n*****!" she says, still sat alongside Sloane, whose face is frozen in fear."
Greive writes that Sloane later attempts to explain her comment saying "Michelle was helping Gilda onto the sunlounger when I made a terrible joke, I said something to Gilda about Michelle not being her boat n*****, but it came out wrong."
Back on the boat, Sloane approaches Blanchard, who is furious, writes Greive.
Blanchard: Someone needs to tell you you're not funny. You're not f*****g funny.
Sloane: I didn't come up here so you can just yell at me like this because I didn't know what I was saying and I really didn't mean.
Blanchard: You didn't know what you were saying? Of course you knew what you were saying! Don't sit there and tell me you had no idea what you were saying. You're a grown ass woman.
"Blanchard throws champagne in her face, and then the empty flute at a wall. Kirkpatrick is in tears, her season-long serenity finally ruptured. The scene descends into chaos until Sloane finally takes the hint. Eventually they dock, breaking again into two racially divided groups until a climactic dinner at the episode's conclusion."