Former State Treasurer and now U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel said Thursday that he will no longer participate in the filming of the reality show “Southern Charm.”
Ravenel — who is running against incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, Democratic candidate Brad Hutto, and Libertarian Victor Kocher — told Charleston City Paper that he would not be appearing in any more Bravo TV shows.
He insisted Bravo had promised it would not send a film crew to cover an SCETV debate on Monday and would instead rely on a local NBC affiliate. Instead, he said, “the entire Bravo crew” was denied entry to the event after they arrived at the debate studio in Columbia.
“(T)he story the next day was that the Bravo crew tried to gain entry into the debate and were denied entry,” Ravenel told the paper. “They lied to me. So I just sent them a note saying I’m not going to participate in any more Bravo shows.”
The former State Treasurer, who was forced to resign in 2007 after an arrest on cocaine charges, has been sensitive to the fact that many political observers are not taking his campaign seriously. Graham himself has refused to appear at events with Ravenel (including Monday’s debate).
Graham told the Weekly Standard earlier this month, “I think I have a responsibility, being the sitting senator, not to allow this thing to turn into a circus.”
When he first announced his candidacy, Ravenel had said he would not participate in “Southern Charm” during his campaign. But he changed his mind shortly after submitting a petition to run as an independent. But he said Monday’s incident was the last straw.
“I just told them I’m not going to participate anymore, because after that last lie, the whole story is about Bravo trying to gain entry, which furthers the Graham narrative that it’s all about Bravo,” Ravenel told the paper. “It’s not. I’m dead serious about this campaign, and I have been from Day One.”