Bethenny Frankel is calling for reality stars to form a union and go on strike for better pay, and some of her fellow Bravolebrities — including Cynthia Bailey — agree with her.
via The Messenger:
During Jill Zarin’s Luxury Luncheon benefiting the Bobby Zarin Memorial Trust on Saturday, The Messenger caught up with former and current Housewives at the Southhampton event and got their take on Frankel’s idea — which calls on reality stars to demand the same treatment as the actors and writers currently on strike.
“I think it’s a good idea, I hate to say it,” former Real Housewives of Dallas star, LeeAnn Locken, said. “I think the audience for a long time felt like we got paid every time it aired, and we didn’t. We got paid when we created it. That’s the only time we ever got paid for it. And then they, in perpetuity, can run it forever, anywhere in the world, over and over and over again. You are making money off my mistakes, off my one-liners, off my back.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County star, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, shared the same thought while admitting the possibility didn’t cross her mind until Frankel spoke up.
“The funny thing is, I never even thought about it until she mentioned it, but it’s such a great idea,” she shared. “Because a lot of these shows go on forever, and people aren’t making money. If you can actually unionize reality TV, go for it. I doubt it’s gonna happen. Because I don’t know if it can happen, it seems so far-fetched, but it can. That would be amazing, because people do work really hard on the show.”
Earlier this month, Frankel asked a very simple question to her millions of followers: “Why isn’t reality TV on strike?”
“I got paid $7,250 for my first season of reality TV, and people are still watching those episodes,” she said in a video posted on Instagram. “We’ve always been the losers — the ‘I’m up here, you’re down here’ to the actresses and actors. During the last writers’ strike, we were providing all of the entertainment, and that’s really when the gold rush of reality TV started. I, myself, have generated millions and millions of dollars in advertising and online impressions from reality TV, and I’ve never made a single residual. Either I’m missing something or we’re getting screwed, too.”
“Anyone shooting a Bravo show should not be shooting until they get paid residuals for all the other episodes that they’ve ever done or those episodes should be taken down,” she continued, before slamming the mistreatment as “complete and total bullsh–.”
Speaking more towards that thought, The Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Cynthia Bailey, told The Messenger on Saturday that she’s always felt reality stars should get residuals.
“Our likeness can run on forever and ever, and I feel like it’s fair for us to get some kind of compensation for our image and our likeness just being on TV and just being able to just run it til the end of time,” she explained. “I don’t think that that’s really fair. So I do think there are some things I may not wholeheartedly agree with, but I definitely think there should be some kind of fair compensation for anyone who has been on the show, just in terms of residuals.”
While Real Housewives of New Jersey star, Margaret Josephs, said she hasn’t discussed the idea with Frankel, she’s fully on board.
“I think it’d be lovely if everybody could come together,” she said. “It would be amazing. I love our crew. I wish our crew was in a union but we’ll see what happens.”
Zarin’s event came one day after Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Lisa Rinna echoed Frankel’s sentiments.
“Every SAG-AFTRA member who is on a Bravo show should boycott BravoCon,” Rinna wrote on her Instagram Story Friday. “You want them to start to take you seriously and pay you the money you deserve? Then start a reality show union, per Bethenny. Time is now.”
If reality TV strikes alongside the rest of Hollywood, the entire entertainment industry will certainly change.