The Real World: Portland stars Jordan Wiseley and Nia Moore address racially charged 2013 fight
In the wake of MTV taking action against stars like The Challenge's Dee Nguyen, Teen Mom OG's Taylor Selfridge, and Siesta Key's Alex Kompothecras for recent and past racist social media posts, two former Real World stars took it upon themselves to address their controversial past actions. The Real World: Portland's Jordan Wiseley and Nia Moore hosted an Instagram Live on Thursday to discuss their 2013 on-camera fight in which Wiseley, a white man, used the N-word and imitated monkey sounds at Moore, a black woman. Videos of that moment recently resurfaced on social media, and Moore wanted to set the record straight.
"Jordan did not ask me to do this," Moore said, adding that "he is my friend, I love him deeply. Over the past few weeks I've seen something bubbling… We lived it. Neither of us have never hid from our mistakes. Now that this has become a hot topic, I felt like as his friend, someone who deeply loves him, I feel remiss sitting by. I wanted to put it out there for us to have dialogue."
Wiseley expressed that fans only saw clips of what happened that night and didn't get the full context of the interaction, but stressed that "This is not an excuse. We are re-bringing this up because of the impact that it now has today."
According to both Moore and Wiseley, there had been "flirty" tension between them all season that they expressed through fighting with each other. The big fight in episode 6 actually lasted about an hour and a half and was fueled by alcohol. Moore said that where it "turned ugly" was when Wiseley spit Cheerios at her.
"I was using the N-word towards you and you used it back at me," she said. "Even then I didn't feel like it was coming from a racial/racist place. As the argument progressed, he started mimicking a monkey. Even then I didn't attach it to a racist gesture, I just wanted to kick his ass because we were arguing about something stupid… It wasn't heavy for me."
When their costar Marlon Williams confronted Wiseley the next morning about how he shouldn't say that word, Moore said she didn't intervene because she "was so angry and he and I had not made up, so I let him fall on that sword."
But she repeated that she didn't think Wiseley was being racist at the time. "What we both did on both parts was tacky, distasteful, and immature," she said. "I just felt like it wasn't [racist]. I knew it didn't come from that place." She pointed to the phone call Wiseley had with his father the morning after, in which he acknowledged his mistake and was remorseful, as evidence.
"I totally understand I offended people," Wiseley said. "I cannot take it back. It was not coming from a place of hate. If you look at my past, we were a foster family who brought in kids of all colors."
"This whole thing of trying to prove you're not racist is so funny to me because I know you're not one," Moore said, smiling. "But I just couldn't stand by and allow you to wear a label that didn't belong to you… He and I do not agree on everything, but what we do agree on is we genuinely love and respect each other as human beings, we genuinely accepted each other's apologies."
After their explosive time together on The Real World: Portland, Moore was kicked off The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II in 2015 for physically assaulting Wiseley. But in the years since, they said they've put their issues behind them and become close friends.
"The most frustrating part about watching these clips gets circulated is they're just clips, and these trolls are trying to push this crap when the real lesson should be right here," Wiseley said. "How do we grow from this? How do we take people who learn from their mistakes and teach them to fight for the cause? Listen and show up. As a young man, I was not able to listen. I wasn't able to show up for myself. There was so much pain in here and after getting close to you I knew how much pain you had. Now we look back at this situation, how do we learn? What can we take from it?"
He continued, "I love you Nia, I am so proud of the woman you've become. And we had to do this. We had to go through what we went through to get here. I feel good, I know that we are at peace with this, and I want others to be at peace with this… I just want to move forward."
"That's what you have said from the beginning," Moore said. "It was not easy, but we have grown. We have done the work, and I think our lives are better for it… I think this is good. There's peace in knowing you held yourself accountable and I held myself accountable… The ultimate message is the power of forgiveness and the power of growth."