Ariana Madix tells TooFab: "I definitely don't agree with or condone any of the things she said."
"Vanderpump Rules" stars Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval hope co-star Stassi Schroeder learns from her mistakes, after the reality star received backlash and lost podcast advertisers for allegedly criticizing the #MeToo campaign.
Three sponsors pulled their support of Schroeder's "Straight Up with Stassi" podcast after an episode titled "Are we on a male witch hunt?" drew fire from critics on social media over her thoughts on sexual harassment. She later deleted the episode entirely and apologized at length for her comments.
"I definitely don't agree with or condone any of the things she said," Madix told TooFab on Tuesday. "I think it's probably going to be a good learning experience for her and I hope that it is given all of the backlash and things that she's going through."
Sandoval added that Schroeder needs to be aware that her words have consequences.
"She has said things like, 'This is my podcast where I speak my mind and give my opinions on things' and I get that, but when you have sponsors and when you have an audience, you have to understand that there are things you have to deal with," Sandoval said. "You can say whatever you want, but you can't complain when there's repercussions to what you say. So I understand and I realize her sponsors have dropped her, but that's just the way it is. When you have sponsors, you have to think about them."
"But when you also have an audience that's largely women who have experiences and stories and they feel invalidated because of what you're saying and they look up to you, it's kind of not a good feeling," Madix added.
Sandoval also said Schroeder is "lucky" some of her past comments about other topics haven't landed her in hot water, while Madix added she found the subject "really depressing" to speak about while promoting the new season of their Bravo show.
At first, Schroeder was defiant in the face of her critics, taking to social media to say that they had missed her point. By Sunday, the podcast had been removed, and Schroeder had posted an apology via Twitter, but still many didn't see it as enough. She later posted a more extensive apology on the homepage of her website, acknowledging that some of her comments were "insensitive and thoughtless."
"I want to WHOLLY apologize for the flippant remarks where I said that no one could make me go down on someone, where I said it is easy to say no, and where I said it’s easy to not go to someone’s hotel room alone," she added, addressing specific criticism. "I don't know what each individual woman was being put through in each instance. That was inexcusable and reckless of me."
She again tried to reiterate her original intent, while maintaining her support for those women who have come forward. "I have felt that there have been opportunistic people who have used this time to gain attention, fame, money etc. and that frustrates me," she continued. "I read about men who were fired within hours of one allegation. Without any investigation whatsoever."
Several times in the piece, Schroeder suggested that the timing may not be right for this conversation. "I've now realized just how big this issue is and it's something I can't even begin to tackle," she wrote. "When the dialogue becomes acceptable, I hope to be a part of it."
"Vanderpump Rules" premieres Dec. 4 at 9 p.m. ET.