Former reality TV pitbull Bethenny "Norma Rae" Frankel has not only recruited legal titans Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos in her war against NBC/Universal and Bravo, but she's also got 'over 80 people' backing her play.
via Page Six:
Freedman told Variety he’d heard from roughly “50 reality show castmembers” and now a source familiar with the situation tells Page Six there’s even more.
“It’s going to be a massive thing. There are multiple individuals wanting to join this … at least 80 people have reached out, men and women,” they said.
On Friday, Freedman and Geragos fired off a legal threat to NBCUniversal’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation, Kimberley Harris.
In the letter, obtained by Page Six, they accuse NBC and Bravo of making “deliberate attempts” to “manufacture mental instability” by plying their talent with “alcohol while depriving them of food and sleep, as well as denying mental health treatment for those displaying obvious and alarming signs of mental deterioration.”
Our insider would not name names of the people already involved, but told us, “It’s definitely ‘Housewife’ heavy” with “multiple franchises of ‘Housewives,’ but it’s people from all different Bravo shows.”
They doubled down on the email alleging the network is “feeding them alcohol, not giving them food.”
“The conditions are mentally exhausting to get the best content,” the source added.
Another Bravo insider told us it’s no secret that “Bethenny is recruiting people” and believes the bulk of her followers are “former housewife types.” Frankel was on a crusade to unionize reality stars amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
But perhaps the most pissed-off set might be those behind the scenes, with the source describing Bravo as working production “like animals.”
“It may be a bigger case with them,” they said.
Case in point: We hear showrunners apparently walked off while filming the last season of “The Real Housewives of New York” over insensitive comments around race and class.
A spokesperson for NBC responded to Frankel and the power attorney’s threats, insisting they’re “committed to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace for cast and crew on our reality shows.”
“At the outset, we require our third-party production partners to have appropriate workplace policies and training in place. If complaints are brought to our attention, we work with our production partners to ensure that timely, appropriate action is or has been taken, including investigations, medical and/or psychological support, and other remedial action that may be warranted such as personnel changes,” they said.
I really hope reality stars decide to unionize, because Hollywood needs to change their policies on how they treat their talent. I know it might be harsh to say, but reality stars are looked at as nothing more than non-union low-hanging fruit.