Carly Hughes Exits American Housewife Alleging Toxic Environment; Studio Responds by Making 'Positive Changes'

Carly Hughes American Housewife

The mystery of an American Housewife‘s vanished friend has been solved.

Original cast member Carly Hughes exited the ABC sitcom ahead of Season 5, amid a workplace environment she claimed was “toxic” and subjected her to discrimination.

Hughes was last billed as a series regular in the graduation-themed Season 5 opener, which was largely leftover from the end of Season 4/before the pandemic.

Katy Mixon headlines Housewife as Katie Otto, a wife and mother who tries to maintain her sense of self and family while dealing with the wealthy, pretentious, arrogant housewives and their privileged children in her new hometown of Westport, Connecticut. Hughes played Angela, one of Katie’s best friends.

“I was no longer able to work in the toxic environment that was created on American Housewife,” Hughes said in a statement obtained by TVLine. “I made the decision to leave to protect myself, from that type of discrimination. As a black woman in entertainment I feel the responsibility to stand up for what I deserve, what we all deserve — to be treated equally. I wish the show well, and I am excited for a new chapter and to be able to pursue the opportunities ahead.”

An American Housewife spokesman said in a statement to TVLine, “Carly was a valued member of the cast, and we had hoped she would return to the show this season. The concerns she raised led to positive changes to the workplace and improvements to the culture, but we respect the decision she made to move on. We wish her nothing but the best.”

The “positive changes,” our sister site Deadline reports, included demotions for producer Sarah Dunn and line producer Mark J. Greenberg, while showrunners Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz underwent sensitivity training.

Lest Katie’s circle of gal pals shrink, Holly Robinson Peete was recently cast in the recurring role of Tami, a close friend of Katie’s from before the Ottos moved to Westport. 

In addition to her four-season Housewife run, Hughes’ TV credits included Netflix’s Insatiable, where she played Etta Mae Barnard, ex-wife of Christopher Gorham’s Bob Barnard.