Kody Brown of Sister Wives sat down for an exclusive interview with The List to talk about everything from his relationships with his wives, to the pandemic, and how he’s been affected by the show.
Kody talked about the best and worst aspects of being on the long-running show for the past 11 years.
Being on the show has had its ups and downs
He said, “Well, it’s a mixed bag. The experience has been a double-edged sword in that we’re trying to expose our family and be totally honest. And yet, we’re not the world’s most functional family.”
He continued, “There are so many struggles to communicate that it almost gets embarrassing. There’s five big personalities in this.”
The five big personalities Kody referred to are himself and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn.
One aspect that’s made filming difficult is that Kody feels fans have picked sides as opposed to supporting the entire family as a whole.
He said, “They don’t understand that me and my wives are on the same team and we’re working out some struggles. There’s a tendency for people to polarize, pick a favorite wife, pick a side between me and a wife.”
He continued, “Where we’ve struggled through just normal marriage type of stuff to be a united family, the public, it feels like sometimes wants to pick sides instead of being Team Brown Family.”
When asked about the show’s authenticity, Kody claimed that the percentage of their lives that viewers see is the real deal.
He said, “It really happened. We don’t script.”
Kody gives an update on his family and how COVID-19 has impacted their lives
Kody gave an update about his children and his wives. He also explained how COVID-19 has impacted their relationships.
“We’ve got four homes, four mothers who basically because they’re running their household, are kind of in charge of their household.”
Kody admitted that he has been rotating his time between his wives, except for Meri, who he rarely sees or visits.
He said, “Big struggle for me, whether that’s from bad leadership or whether that’s bad choices, or I don’t even know what. But it’s been a struggle for us to get on the same page on how we behave regarding COVID-19.”
Kody calls his open-book nature an ’embarrassment of exposure’
Kody felt that he’s always been an open book but realized he’s gradually opened up more over the years.
He said, “Here’s the funny thing, my whole experience with being on a reality TV show has been that every single season, every single time we’ve worked, I feel like I’m being more and more and more and more open. And yet in the moment, 10 years ago, I thought I was an open book, but I’ve realized gradually I’m more and more, more open.”
Kody wasn’t wrong when he said he’s been more open. Not only has he been more vocal on the show, but he’s also been more present on social media.
This season, he has called out Twitter trolls, got candid about his feelings, and even called out his second wife Janelle’s parenting choices.
He said, “So I’ll be honest with you right now, two years from now, I might say that, ‘Oh, we’re more open now,’ but in the moment that I’m sitting here with you, we’re such an open book that it’s an embarrassment of exposure. It’s like decent people shouldn’t be sharing this much about their personal lives, and we’re just spilling our guts about it.”
He continued, “My opinion of the situation is you’re getting it all. You’re not getting in my bedroom, and that’s it. You’re getting everything else.”
Kody admitted he has a ‘stop gap’ between his brain and his mouth
Kody was asked, “Do you feel a certain sense of obligation to continue not only being open, but to progress that openness with every season?”
He replied, “I’ve got a circuit that’s broken in me and that’s the stop gap between my brain and my mouth. I try to practice discretion, but it’s almost…there’s a nature there.”
Kody has surely proven this point, especially on Twitter this season, as he’s clapped back at followers he disagreed with.
He continued, “If you’re just really saying how it is, you’re not really censoring yourself. I’m trying to make the words right. I’m trying to make the words kind. I’m trying to be honest and kind at the same time, and it’s a tough place to be.”
His family isn’t always on the same page
In regard to his family, Kody said that between his wives and children, they’re not always on the same page.
He explained, “We’re trying to be united as a family, but there’s a lot of liberty in this family, a lot of freedom. We’re all basically sort of social anarchists, not in the bad sense of the word, but nobody obeys the rules because there are little rules because these are relationships. You have to be sensitive to how you are with each other, and it’s a challenge.”
Being physically united as a family has been a struggle for the Browns, as well. They admitted that it’s “rare” they get everyone under the same roof.
Kody got “really deep” when he talked about how each of his relationships impact each other.
He admitted, “The closer we are together, the more interaction we have that way. It’s a strange place because…do you have the time for me to dive deep on this one? I’ll give you something really deep.”
He continued, “All of my wives that I’ve chosen to marry, they’ve chosen to be in the family, was essentially an agreement between me and that wife, like 75 percent and maybe 80 percent. The agreement that she has with the other wives is like 20 percent, 25 percent of that maybe.”
He added, “This is at least the way I view it. Because her and I are making a contract with each other, and she’s making a secondary contract with her sister wives.”
Kody revealed the truth about his relationship with Meri
In regard to Meri, Kody explained the issues going on in their relationship.
He said, “Well, actually our relationship currently is actually better. I believe that it’s better than it was when we were in Las Vegas.”
Kody’s mention of his relationship with Meri while in Las Vegas was likely a reference to the never-ending catfishing saga that he admitted “dissolved” their marriage.
He said, “I actually got to admit that I don’t believe anything’s going to change between me and Meri. I think we’re going to continue on with an amicable relationship into the future.”
As he reflected on his time on the show, Kody said, “Well, boy, it’s been exhilarating, humbling, and humiliating. I’m at a loss for words. It’s been an experience. I look at it in this way. Very few people have an opportunity like this. And so, you have to take it as a blessing. It’s life-changing.”
Sister Wives airs on Sundays at 10/9c on TLC.