The Flipping Out season finale on Tuesday showed the tense moment when Jeff Lewis fired his long-time collaborator and assistant Jenni Pulos.
Lewis has been documenting his work on Bravo's Flipping Out for over ten years, and Pulos has been with him from the start. That made it all the more shocking when Lewis let Pulos go to close out season 11. In the episode, Lewis, Pulos and three other colleagues had a "productivity seminar" during lunch at a coffee shop, but Pulos was not satisfied with the high expectations.
Pulos complained to Lewis that she has often had to put her aspirations as an actress on hold for her demanding job. Pulos worked as Lewis' project manager, overseeing his ambitious projects. For Lewis, this was just an excuse.
"This is what I'm not going to buy into," he said. "I'm not going to buy into, somehow you could've developed a career as an actress but this job is holding you back. Like, I'm not subscribing to any of that."
Pulos was furious that Lewis thought so little of her ambitions, especially after years of working together.
"You've always minimized my acting," she said. "It's what you love to do. And I'm over it. I'm so over it."
"I'm not minimizing anything," Lewis shot back. "Jenni, I just live in a very real world... And I'm wondering if we should take a look at your strategy or something that you're doing, because you've been in every room in L.A. and I'm just wondering why nothing has stuck."
While Pulos was apparently devastated that Lewis did not take her seriously as an actress, Lewis said that he felt like Pulos was ashamed to be his assistant.
"I will absolutely work with you on the flexibility of going to those auditions when they come up, which is not very often," he said.
It was only later, on the tense car ride home that Pulos murmered from the backseat that she had turned down an offer for an acting gig for him. She said that she "was asked to be on tape and it was a very final audition with an offer."
"I didn't do it because it was gonna be two weeks out," she continued. "Two weeks. So I should have come to you and said, 'Hey, I might need to leave for two weeks, is this cool?' But instead, I just said no to it."
Rather than talking more about flexible scheduling, Lewis cast doubt on the claim.
"This is the first I've heard about it, which is why I don't believe you," Lewis said. "We all would have heard about it. Show me the offer, 'cause I personally think you are lying."
After cooling off, the two met back up a week later over lunch. Lewis apologized to Pulos, and promised that he believed her. He also said that he thought she could become an actress if she "spent 100%" of her time on her career path, rather than trying to split between his company and her dreams.
"I have to think about what I want for my business," he continued. "And I'd like to go to the next level. And I'm realizing all of the things that are preventing me from doing that and mostly, it's staff, mostly, it's my employees. Like, my employees need to be in line with me, really. Their dreams, their goals, need to be in line with my dreams and my goals."
"So I guess what I'm trying to say is I think it's time to move on. I think it's time for you to move on, and I am eternally grateful to you, cause I would not be here if it weren't for you," he finished.
Pulos sat stunned by this proclamation, and later in a confessional broke down in tears.
"It's scary, the future, when you don't know," she said. "And you've had such a history."0comments
Lewis had announced that he and Pulos had split ways back in September on his Sirius XM show Jeff Lewis Live. On this week's episode, he admitted that he regretted the way things ended with Pulos.
"It wasn't worth losing a friendship over," he said.