Bethenny Frankel has accused Hollywood of exploiting reality TV stars, claiming that they will “work hard” while the actors and screenwriters go on strike.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are currently standing out on issues related to pay, streaming balances, and AI. The television and film industries have been greatly affected by the strikes, with most production being shut down until the strike is over.
On Thursday (July 20), Real housewives of New York City star Frankel, 52, took to Instagram to protest the treatment of reality TV stars.
“Reality TV stars are the stepchildren, the losers, the mules, the pack horses, the people the entertainment industry will rely on right now to carry the water and do the heavy lifting when the ‘real, real A-list Hollywood stars’ are on strike,” the former Bravo character said.
She went on to say that TV characters face different problems from actors: “We’re not actors, we don’t play other people, we don’t speak the words that were written for us.
She continued: “We are exposing ourselves, our families, our lives, our children. “And at what price? Reality TV exploits problems, goes bankrupt, falls off a wagon, doesn’t really have what you say you have, says something inappropriate, risks being canceled every time the camera starts.
Frankel claims that a young “reality star becoming” doesn’t always know what’s in their contract and that they sign their lives “just for a chance to be famous”.
“So just because Hollywood and the entertainment industry can tap into this green talent” doesn’t mean they should, she argues. “Contracts are designed to protect talent, not for a moment.”
Using the example of his years-long divorce from Jason Hoppy, Frankel criticized the media for “pumping”[ing] all the footage of Bethenny and Jason till the end of time”.
The two married in 2010 before announcing their separation in 2012. They filed for divorce in 2013, but things weren’t finalized until after a years-long financial and custody battle, which was finally resolved in 2016 and 2021, respectively.
After acknowledging that “minimum-wage nurses, teachers and staff” were also not being treated fairly, she explained: “This is a separate, very specific issue where people’s names and likenesses are used and exploited forever.”
Frankel goes on to claim that “we build the intellectual property” that networks and streamers monetize – “unseen talent.”
Her criticism comes during a hectic period for the entertainment industry, which has been shut down since last week when actors joined writers in a battle against streamers and studios for a fairer deal.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday (July 19), the theater union, the International Union of Theater Workers (IATSE), which represents more than 168,000 stage workers, called for a vote to allow the strike.
The IATSE said its employees under pink contracts could start going on strike as early as Friday morning.
The pink contract includes approximately 1,500 stage staff, hair and makeup artists, and IATSE costumers, who work in 45 theatrical performances, including 28 Broadway plays and 17 touring plays.