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"I refuse to have that erased," she says of a clip showing her bonding with her father.

By Marcus Jones
April 07, 2021 at 09:18 PM EDT
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With The Real World Homecoming: New York winding down, EW has an exclusive sneak peek at the finale, in which the roommates are given a chance to ask the show's producers questions. That leads to Heather B. Gardner pointing out how they'd missed out on airing a small moment that could've been part of TV history.

It all starts when cast member Norman Korpi inquires whether there are any story lines that Real World co-creator Jonathan Murray and showrunner George Verschoor wish they had aired. Verschoor responds by explaining how the runtime of the show was the biggest stressor: "There was a mountain of tapes that we had to keep up with," he says. "We would shoot 60 hours of footage a week of you guys that we had to boil down to 24 minutes, which was an impossible task."

To that point, Gardner reveals she was disappointed to see her father's visit was left on the cutting room floor. "Especially being a Black female, just to see her with her dad, I always had a very strong relationship with my father, and I think that always goes missing in every show, written or reality," she laments. "It's just never there. People don't see Black women and their fathers together, and what that means, and it helps us to develop our relationships later on in life."

The producers are immediately apologetic to Gardner, with both acknowledging that they're aware of how much her father, Daryl Earl Gardner Sr., meant to her. "I wish we had included him," Murray says. "I'm very sorry."

Viewers are then finally shown the previously unaired footage of the elder Gardner casually checking up on his daughter as she's on a group outing, and the pair sharing a laugh at a restaurant. The moment is intercut with confessional footage of Gardner from that first season noting that her father is her role model.

At the end of the clip, Gardner is back in a present-day confessional stating to the camera, "I realize now, at that time, my dad and I together, they didn't know what to do with that. It had never been seen before. There was no story line for that. But I refuse to have that erased."

She adds, "There's going to be another girl like me who has a relationship with her father that comes on The Real World. Tell her story. Fine, I'll take my lumps, I'll deal with that. My dad's watching over me, so I'm good, but don't do that to the next girl. Tell that Black girl's story with her father."

Watch the video above for more. The final episode of The Real World Homecoming: New York will be available Thursday on Paramount+.

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The Real World

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  • MTV
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