Reality TV is not often a matter of life and death, but in the case of Shahs of Sunset‘s Reza Farahan, there was one instance where he felt it was.
Speaking at the NATPE Television conference in Miami, the real estate agent and Bravo star detailed an instance where he begged producers to cut a scene — and they complied.
“Once I said something about Ayatollah Khomeini,” the real estate agent recalled of the moment. “I legitimately feel like he is ‘blank’ and I said it, and then I realized, Hmm, I come from a terrorist nation, they kill people for a lot less, so I called the producers and said, ‘You know that little thing I said about Khomeini? Maybe we can — well, I don’t want to die because there are Muslim extremists that will be offended.’ So, they cut that out.”
Farahan also discussed another instance where he made the same request from producers — but the scene still made it into the reality series.
“At my bachelor party, I was so (expletive) drunk – I had underwear on my head, I was sucking on a dildo lollipop and I was making out with a stripper,” he laughingly described of the event. “I asked them not to show it, and obviously I realized in that moment, If I don’t want them to show something, it’s probably going to be an amazing clip, and not only am I not going to get what I want, but if they were going to edit it and make it seem more PG, I just f—ed myself by telling them not to show it.“
But one thing Farahan has never been afraid to share is the pride he feels about being an openly gay Persian man.
Of initially joining the show, he said, “I wanted to do it because I’m gay, I’m out, I’m successful, my family and my friends support me. And in my culture, homosexuality is super taboo … I didn’t have any role models. I had to kind of make my own path in life.”
He further explained his hope for others, stating, “I thought, If I were on television, even if it didn’t last beyond one season, if some kid that is struggling with their sexuality can see the show and see ‘wait a minute, this guy does well for himself, his family accepts him, his friends love him, maybe there is hope for me.’ If it could end up helping one person, then being on the show and exposing every demon and embarrassing moment of my life would be well worth it.“
To that goal, the Bravo personality says the reaction has been more encouraging than he ever could have imagined.
“From the very beginning, I immediately started getting positive feedback from lots of people that were in the closet or dealing with their sexuality or parents that didn’t know how to deal with their kids,” he says of the response. “And for me, on a personal level, it’s so rewarding.”