The first episode of the Real Housewives of Dallas which aired April 11 had Housewife Cary Deuber hosting a benefit at her home where the childish behavior of fellow Housewives, Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman, irritated the charitably minded LeeAnne Locken causing her to utter under her breath (to me, I might add) "It's a little Plano in here." The episode ended with a blow up between LeeAnne and Brandi over what's valuable in the charity world. This argument will set the tone for the rest of the season. But there was another blow up that you might have missed... and this one took place on social media over LeeAnne's comment about Plano. Watch the clip below. The Plano comment happens about 1:00 into the scene:
I was live tweeting the episode and was impressed when within minutes of my tweet about Locken's comment, the City of Plano hilariously tweeted me back a Taylor Swift meme saying, "NBD. We'll just (shake it off)."
Within hours of the comment airing the social channels had exploded with comments of support for Plano and from people who saw the humor in LeeAnne's quip. Among those who were NOT amused were Locken's fellow Housewives. "LeeAnne is entitled to an opinion of me, however, to reference Plano is a low blow and clearly disrespectful," stated Brandi Redmond on her Bravo blog. "Plano is ranked the third hardest working city in America by Money Magazine, in the top 100 in the USA for families to settle, and West Plano (where I reside) is voted number 1 in the DFW area to raise a family. So what does Locken know about Plano other than that I live there? Girl, bye! For anyone that doesn’t know, Plano is amazing and I love it." Stephanie Hollman weighed in support for Plano on her Bravo blog saying, “LeeAnne saying, "It’s a little Plano in here," is her way of putting down the amazing town where Brandi lives. It’s obvious to me that LeeAnne doesn't feel like Plano measures up to Dallas, and she feels like Brandi and I are beneath her. Plano is a great place to live. It is one of the top places in Texas to raise a family. It also has some of the best schools in Texas.”
"It's a little Plano in here!" is going to be the catch phrase for the rest of the year huh?— 102.1 The Edge (@1021Edge) April 12, 2016
Even Bullzerk on Lower Greenville had a T-shirt up the day after the episode to cash in on the controversy:It's a little Plano in here, and we are Plano proud! Plano is the Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas! #PlanoBalloon pic.twitter.com/rmKwkqOJpI— ITCU Plano Balloon (@PlanoBalloon) April 14, 2016
Redmond certainly played up the dig when she visited Andy Cohen in New York City to appear on Watch What Happens Live immediately after the show's debut.
I reached out to Locken for her take on the controversial comment. She claims that she wasn't insulting the town of Plano, she was merely taking a dig at Plano resident Brandi saying she was "a little plain-o" (as in her behavior was boorish to Locken) The actress actually has a long history of promoting the city of Plano having anchored past shows such as Plano Wired (news), hosting The Plano Experience, and hosting Live Green In Plano for the Plano Television Network (the city's local cable channel). Shannah Hayley is the Director of Marketing and Community Engagement for the City of Plano. She revealed herself as the person who tweeted me on behalf of the City the night of the show. "We love LeeAnne - as you probably know, she's worked as a contractor for us for a number of years. She's never been afraid to share her opinion and has a very quick wit." Hayley has designed her own T-shirt on behalf of the City of Plano (see above) "As you know, influencer marketing is a powerful thing!" quips Hayley. Her shirt comes in a variety of body styles (tanks, tees, sweatshirts). Like myself, Locken is pleased to see that the City of Plano has sense of humor about the situation and gives them two thumbs up for making the most of their fifteen minutes of reality TV fame. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again, all press is good press. You just have to know how to spin it. Well played, City of Plano. Well. Played.