Former cast members from the Bravo series Below Deck are speaking out over the pay disparities they endured while filming for the show.
via Page Six:
In a new article from Business Insider published Tuesday, some of the stars of the series — which is one of Bravo’s top-rated reality shows — said they only made between $5,000 and $6,000 a month.
According to the report, salaries are based on their position on the yacht, as captains can earn nearly triple that amount.
However, their fellow Bravolebrities on the “Real Housewives” franchises can make up to $1 million per season, while some “Southern Charm” stars reportedly make $25,000 an episode.
Ashley Marti, who appeared as a stewardess on Season 3 of “Below Deck Sailing Yacht” in 2022, told the outlet that the pay discrepancy is unfair.
“We’re on TV, but technically we’re the help,” she said. “We don’t get the same treatment.”
Additionally, former cast members claim that they were mistreated during filming.
Gabriela Barragán, who also appeared on Season 3 of “Below Deck Sailing Yacht,” alleged a producer — nicknamed “M&M” for master manipulator — encouraged her to consume alcohol although they knew she had substance abuse issues.
Barragán — who is black and Latina — also claimed that she was bombarded with tons of racist microaggressions from several co-stars.
In one instance, Barragán claimed a coworker said her hair looked like “pubes” and told her she was “aggressive.”
Another crew member pointed to a black person on the street and said, “Look, Gaby, your brother,” Barragán alleged.
She also claimed that someone told a joke about slaves during a talent show for the guests, however, that did not air on the show.
When Barragán brought this to the attention of the producers, she claimed they told her to calm down instead of reprimanding the people who made the racist comments.
Elizabeth Frankini — who appeared on Season 8 of “Below Deck,” which aired from 2020 to 2021 — claimed producers of the show allegedly urged her to sleep in the yacht’s guest cabins with her co-star James Hough.
A week later, Frankini was fired for her actions as Francesca Rubi, the boat’s chief stewardess, told her sleeping in the guest cabin unauthorized was “the final straw.”
However, Hough was allowed to keep his job.
“That gave me a very bad taste in my mouth about Bravo, about production, about everything,” she told the outlet.
When asked about these claims, Bravo told Business Insider that they “take allegations of misconduct on our shows seriously and review all claims that are brought to our attention.”
The network added that it has enhanced its production policies, which include “stricter guidelines on alcohol consumption and direction on when to intervene to maintain safety of cast and crew, increased psychological support, enhanced workplace trainings, and a requirement to provide cast and crew with a direct line to NBCUniversal to raise concerns.”
I don't want to sound dismissive of their accusations, but exactly how popular is Below Deck in the ratings? I personally don't know many people in my circle who watches Below Deck.
I do know people who watch the Housewives shows, and I watch a few of the Housewives franchises myself (NJ, Beverly Hills, Potomac and ATL as well as Ultimate Girls Trip). The ladies on the Real Housewives franchises weren't just given millions overnight. They had to put in the work in order to accumulate the kind of money they're currently making.
So this is no shade to the Below Deck cast, but your show doesn't have that big of an impact like the Housewives franchises does.