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‘Real Housewives’ star Bethenny Frankel mulling reality stars unionizing

E Bethenny Frankel 07202023
Bravo/Charles Sykes

With the Writers Guild and SAG strikes still going, many networks are relying on reality shows to fill anticipated gaps in their fall schedules, and a veteran of one of the most popular reality shows is taking note.

In a lengthy Instagram video string, Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel floated the idea of reality stars somehow unionizing so they get a cut of the endlessly rerun hits on Bravo and other networks.

SAG-AFTRA actors are striking in part over diminishing residuals from streaming, meaning they get paid less than they used to when a show is rerun. Reality show stars don’t get any residuals.

“Should the Kardashians keep earning residuals even though they’re billionaires? Yeah. You don’t get to count their money. It’s supply and demand … if you keep watching their content … They should keep getting paid until the end of time,” said Frankel, who said she got just $7,250 for the entire first season of the show.

The entrepreneur also took issue with the so-called “Bethenny Clause,” which is unique to reality show contracts. It states a portion of the money any reality star earns in a separate business goes back to the network “because every nickel needs to goes to the man, even if [reality stars] earn it themselves,” she vented.

Frankel says that although SAG-AFTRA contracts are different, the striking actors got her thinking about how unfairly reality stars are treated.

“The streamers and the networks that have the shows that are filming right now are … thinking, ‘Oh no, now this b**** is going to going corrupt all these donkeys and mules and … morons that we’re going to work to the bone to fill in the blanks while this strike goes [on],” Frankel vented. “Reality stars are ready for something … There’s a reckoning coming.”

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