“I appreciate you ‘giving me a pass,’ but I don’t want it. And this is why,” began David.
In 1993, Tami Roman and David Edwards were picked to live together and have their lives taped on “The Real World: Los Angeles” — and it didn’t take long to find out what happened when people stopped being polite and started getting real.
By the season’s seventh episode, David was evicted following an infamous incident with Tami in their home’s hallway. While David felt like it was a joke, Tami was livid after he pulled her out of her bed while she was wearing nothing but her underwear and wrapped in a blanket. He then tore the blanked off too, leaving her exposed as she screamed for him to stop. As the male housemates laughed, it didn’t take long for female roommates Beth Stolarczyk and Irene Berrera-Kearns started throwing around the word “rape,” before he was kicked out of the house.
On Wednesday’s premiere of “The Real World Homecoming: Los Angeles,” that fight was quickly brought back up again — and it didn’t end well, at all.
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The premiere showed Tami, David, Beth and Irene reunite with Jon Brennan, Glen Naessens and Beth Anthony in the same Venice Beach home they filmed their season in. Unfortunately, Dominic Griffin wasn’t “comfortable” returning — per Beth — while Aaron Behle was also MIA. Not missing, however, was the drama, as they re-litigated the hallway incident almost immediately.
In confessionals, David explained he was hoping for some redemption by coming back to the house, as Tami said that the show was still a trauma trigger for her. “If I had to speak to unfinished business, it’s with David and myself,” she added. “I really want to opportunity to just tell him what I was dealing with, what I was going through.”
He said he was “nervous” to be back, saying that over the past 28 years he’s “had lots of f—ing therapy.” He also felt he was owed an apology by his former roommates — and was “thankful for this opportunity for this to come back around again for me to receive it.”
As they sat down for their first meal together, David explained that after he got booted, he tried to book as many comedy and acting gigs as possible.
“I didn’t know the whole blanket incident, the word rape getting thrown around, how that was going to affect my career but it made me hungry, like I have to go nail some shit before this drops,” he recalled. “I had read throughs that morning, they were airing commercials, ‘Are you dragging a girl down a hall with a blanket?’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god, it’s f—ing starting.’ The word rape getting thrown around, phone stopped ringing and shit.”
“Then things got so heavy, my agency dropped me because they thought I was toxic. It was just a f–ing mess,” he said, adding in a confessional that while he knows what he did was “wrong,” there’s still “a part of me that don’t want to let them off the hook” for how he was treated. “They have a lot of explaining to do and each step of the way, I want explaining,” he added.
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As a way to spark conversation between them all, producers then sat the cast down in front of a TV with a message reading, “Living with strangers means testing each other’s limits, learning to respect boundaries. It also means learning that sometimes jokes are no laughing matter.” Footage of the hallway incident was then played for them all to rewatch as a group. David couldn’t help but laugh as it rolled, but nobody else found any of it funny.
“I hate seeing that, every time … it gives me a sick feeling, because of what I didn’t do,” said Irene, as Jon said it was just “embarrassing that I was part of it all.”
“I’ve watched this over a million times and watching it again, everyone’s having such a good f—ing time,” David interjected. “Everyone’s laughing, pounding on the floor. You’re pulling the blanket, [Jon’s] give the wrestling count. I’m coming from a playful perspective.”
For Tami, however, she said she still gets angry whenever she sees the footage.
“If I say I don’t got no clothes on, then nobody should have tried to pull the covers off,” she said, before explaining why she was laughing initially. “People don’t understand that laughter sometimes is 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.”
“You can’t understand the magnitude of why I was like, ‘Don’t pull these damn covers off.’ In my personal life, you all did not see my popping laxatives. You did not hear me throwing up. You all did not know I was battling body dysmorphia,” she continued. “Nobody understood why I got my mouth wired, was because I’m a person who no matter when I look at myself, I feel like I’m 300 pounds.”
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On the original season, Tami had her mouth wired shut for several episodes, with Roman saying now that she hates other people saw her do that. “That is not a healthy thing to do,” she added, “I could not see the beauty of myself at that time in ’93.”
“When you pull the covers off somebody who’s like, ‘Oh my god, everybody’s gonna see how fat I am,’ I was humiliated, I felt disrespected, I was vulnerable in a way that I didn’t want to be and I was uncomfortable,” she said, before telling David, “I’m willing now to give you a pass on that.”
Though David said had he known that then, he never would have done what he did, he then added, “I appreciate your willingness and I appreciate you ‘giving me a pass,’ but I don’t want it. And this is why: Everybody’s laughing, including you.”
She then reiterated that she was laughing out of discomfort, because she had already told him to stop and wasn’t sure what else do to. David, however, still wasn’t hearing it — and continued to point the finger at everyone in the house — Tami included — for also screaming and laughing at the time.
“If you say that out your mouth one more time, I feel like you’re disrespecting me yet again,” Tami snapped back, getting visibly frustrated. “Because you keep saying the same thing and I already explained to you that it was awkward, uncomfortable laughter.”
David then asked producers to roll the footage again and, as they did, he continued to laugh — and was the only one doing so. “That’s not funny!” Tami exclaimed, before Irene was seen in a confessional saying all David was doing was making himself look stupid. “I literally felt my face getting hot,” she added, “I just wanted to just go up to him and smack him in the face and say shut up.”
“I’m looking at you in the face and telling you what I was dealing with,” Tami told David, “It’s not funny. it took me a long time to heal from being a f–king bulimic.” His response: “I probably wouldn’t have signed up for the show if I knew somebody had these kinds of issues and it was gonna be my roommate. Now I’m being blamed for mental problems I didn’t know you had.”
That, of course, only made Tami even more upset, as she got out of her seat and began to storm out.
“I received the fact that you could have thought it was this and I felt it was that. We were 20 something years old, one situation, two different perspectives,” she said. “Right now, I’m being honest, I was dealing with some shit. So you’re sitting here laughing, it’s not funny. It’s still not funny!”
With that, she walked out of the room and the episode came to a close. A preview for the season, however, shows that the conversation is far from over. Stay tuned as new episodes of “The Real World Homecoming: Los Angeles” drop Wednesdays on Paramount+.
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