'Real Housewives' Tired of Being 'Used' By Bravo
By Rob Shuter Posted Aug 4th 2010 08:33AM
If you think being the star of a hit TV series with millions of viewers will make you rich, think again. Just ask the ladies of Bravo's 'Real Housewives' franchise.
"All the ladies have had enough of being used by Bravo and plan to start fighting back," a friend of one 'Housewife' tells me. "They are pissed that they only get paid $3,000 to tape each episode and are furious that they get paid nothing to tape the reunion episode. It's two full days of their lives with no lunch breaks and no pay. Everyone on the set is getting a paycheck except the stars. How can that be right?"
And it's not just the reunion shows that Bravo has added to the ladies taping schedule with no extra pay. Last week, executives decided that in order to breathe new life into its troubled 'Project Runway' parrot, 'The Fashion Show,' the 'Housewives' from New Jersey should make an appearance.
"None of the housewives wanted to be on 'The Fashion Show,'" one insider tells me. "However, the network insisted they film all week for hours and hours, and to add insult to injury, they got nothing in return. Not even a thank you."
However, the ladies have decided to fight back. First, the 'Housewives of Atlanta' took a stand -- getting together before taping their reunion show and all agreeing not to fight unless they got paid. It didn't work for them, but the resulting snore-fest made Bravo change its mind when it came to taping the New York reunion.
"I don't think it's a coincidence that the New York ladies showed up to duke it out and then delivered," a source close to production tells me. "Tell me Bethenny dragged her ass to the filming days after giving birth for free. No way. Bravo got so much from them. They turned it into a three-episode special and got their highest ratings for the New York series ever. So paying those girls was well worth it."
Now, with the New Jersey reunion taping today and tomorrow in Atlantic City, let's hope Bravo opened up its checkbook, because as one Garden State 'Housewife' explains to me, "Working for them is like slave labor. They might be able to make us show up, but if they want us to put on a show they better pony up the cash."
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