The Real World: Los Angeles was not Season 1 of the iconic MTV series, but the 1993 SoCal edition is well-known for changing reality TV forever. Beth Anthony, Beth Stolarczyk, David Edwards, Glen Naessens, Irene Berrera-Kearns, Jon Brennan and Tami Roman are small screen pioneers in their own right — and they are having a homecoming at the same iconic Venice beach house years after they lived together in their teens and twenties.
Yes, they are “all grown up” — and during the premiere installment of the Paramount+ program, they began revisiting the historic experiences that shaped their youth when they were “being real” in the ’90s.
The first stop on this journey: sitting together to watch the unforgettable “blanket incident,” which led to the “first person to be kicked off a reality show.”
“Living with strangers means testing each other’s limits, learning to respect boundaries,” Irene read courtesy of an incoming message. “It also means learning that sometimes, jokes are no laughing matter.”
The group instantaneously knew what they would be witnessing again — and it was abundantly clear that everyone (even those who were not a part of the cast at that time) felt uneasy at the prospect of what was coming next.
“Immediately, everyone is really uncomfortable,” present-day Jon stated in a confessional. “This is the long-awaited day that we are going to revisit — the hallway David-Tami blanket incident.”
A brief description of the clip: David attempts to pull the blankets off a naked Tami as a joke as she screams “Are you crazy?” from the floor. She is draped in the covers and wants him to stop. The roommates (including Aaron and Jon) are laughing from the sidelines, while Beth S is at Tami’s side while David tugs at the blanket.
Fast-forward to 2021: David gazed at the TV intently, put his hands up looking confused and then chuckled as the clip concluded. Meanwhile, Tami suppressed any reaction and instead focused on eating squares of seaweed. Irene was the first to speak and break the silence.
“I hate seeing that every time,” Irene said. “Every time, it gives me a sick feeling because of what I didn’t do.”
Jon felt embarrassed that he was a part of it, while David admitted he had seen it “over a million times.” He also believed that “everyone was having such a good f*cking time.”
“Everybody is laughing, pounding on the floor,” David stated. “[Jon], you’re pulling the blanket, you give the wrestling count — I’m coming from a playful perspective.”
But Tami did not agree.
“For me, when I watch that, I still get angry,” she expressed. “Because if I say that I don’t have no clothes on, then nobody should have tried to pull the covers off. People don’t understand that laughter is to try to cover uncomfortableness and awkwardness. And they don’t know what to do. And that’s kind of what was happening in that moment for me. Without you guys knowing who I am, what I was dealing with, even while we were shooting this show.”
Tami then divulged a difficult part of her past that the viewers did not know about — and neither did her castmates.
“Y’all did not see me popping laxatives, y’all did not hear me throwing up,” she admitted, growing more and more emotional. “Y’all did not know that I was battling body dysmorphia. Nobody understood why I got my mouth wired was because no matter when I look at myself, I feel like I’m three hundred pounds.”
She continued that she was ready to give David “a pass” on what had unfolded. However, he was not interested and did “not want it.”
“Everybody’s laughing, including you,” he reiterated while adding that, had he known her struggles, he would not have behaved the way he did.
But Tami was tired of his repetition about the laughter and stressed that she “already explained” the reason why she laughing. David then demanded the clip be played again — and he chuckled, much to the surprise of everyone else.
“That’s not funny,” Beth S, who had been quiet throughout the sitdown and was directly involved back in 1993, chimed in as everyone focused on the TV yet again.
Tami tried another approach: She confessed it took her “a long time to heal from being a f*cking bulimic.” David’s reaction: He would not have been a part of RW had he known someone would “have these types of issues.”
“Now I’m being blamed for mental problems I didn’t even know you had,” he said.
“One situation, two different perspectives,” Tami reacted. “Right now, I’m being honest, I was dealing with some sh*t.”
“Okay! I had no idea!” David emphatically responded.
“So you sitting here laughing, it’s not funny. It’s still not funny,” Tami concluded — and opted to walk away.
The blanket incident led to David being the first person to ever be kicked off of a reality show, a topic the roommates have not yet even broached. But can Tami and David move beyond their opposite stances on the incident and revert back to being polite, like they were prior to rehashing the blanket incident? Or is a resolution unlikely at this once-in-a-lifetime homecoming? Keep watching The Real World Homecoming: Los Angeles every Wednesday on Paramount+.
If you or someone you know are struggling with an eating disorder or any of the other issues discussed in this article, head to homecoming.mtv.com for resources and support.