Former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel is on a mission to create a union to protect reality stars, and shades former Bravo boss Andy Cohen in the process.
In an interview with ET, Bethenny was asked about Andy’s responsibility amid the turmoil.
She said the host and executive producer is “responsible” for “one very specific group of women,” and “all” the Housewives “clamor” to be his “friend” and be in “high standing.”
Bethenny claimed their reason is a desire “to be asked back to the party,” come on his show, and “be his favorite.” According to the alum, however, Andy’s “favorites change.”
“Nobody including Andy Cohen has anything that I want,” said Bethenny, who claims this is why she’s the “perfect person” to speak about the issues of reality stars. “Burn me to the ground and cancel me. I’ve checked my balance. I’m good.”
Speaking of Cohen, the businesswoman and TV personality recently reunited with her former costar Jill Zarin on her Just B with Bethenny Frankel podcast and shared about crashing Zarin’s husband Bobby’s 2018 funeral with cameras.
According to Frankel, the Bravo producer was allegedly to blame for sending cameras to the somber event, causing a beef between the two ladies.
In her rant, Frankel starts off saying how her and Cohen “came up together” and shared many secrets on beach walks throughout their “parallel” journeys. She acknowledged that the network Bravo is Andy’s first priority (above the needs of the talent) and that she felt “ambushed” when going on his show Watch What Happens Live.
“I have had opinions on the [Real Housewives] franchise in particular and reality TV in particular,” she said. “I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with certain things. I’ve been put in situations where I felt that it wasn’t safe. I recently found out that I crashed a funeral and that was very jarring because it’s felt like there is exploitation without compensation for many people.”
“I have now, in the past couple of days, heard stories about people whose spouses have lost jobs and people who have been threatened with contracts where they cannot use their own business or work on their own projects afterwards ’cause the network was to own them.”
“There’s the Bethenny clause, of course,” she added, referring to a line in her contract explicitly stating that the television network would have no rights to her future business ventures she may receive as a result of the show.
She says there are many things she’s been thinking about that “aren’t equal and fair” and that “reality talent isn’t properly compensated by and large.”
Despite “gag orders” that some of her industry colleagues have, Frankel concluded by saying she is going to get answers from the entertainment industry. “We deserve and answer,” she insisted before wrapping up the rant.
The alum also addressed the current situation with Raquel and said the 28-year-old should continue “playing hardball” amid negotiations with the network.
“The girl was a punching bag for everybody on every talk show in the entertainment industry,” said Bethenny, via Page Six. “So you get beaten up? Like Erika Jayne did, get paid … You’re gonna put me in a ring with [Mike] Tyson, I’m gonna get paid.”
She seemed to indicate that Raquel’s scandal was not a “big deal,” and she applauded her decision to not attend the cast trip at Lake Tahoe.
“She should not be shooting,” Bethenny explained. “She should be negotiating a contract that says … ‘I got dragged through the streets, and I was abused mentally.’”
Bethenny admitted that people with mental health concerns should “absolutely not” go after a career in reality TV, but she predicted that the “money” and “relevance” will end up being “too strong” for the star to resist, and Raquel will want to show she’s “really not the terrible person that they all think.”
“That’s a producer’s talent,” Bethenny went on. “When you’ve been beaten down and everyone hates you, [they say], ‘You gotta go back next season. You can’t end on this note.’”
This is why I love Bethenny. She pulls no punches, and as a businesswoman she's a pitbull in a skirt.
Reality stars as well as drag queens need a union to protect them from these corporate vultures that exploit them at the drop of a dime.
As for Raquel, I can't get behind someone who smiled in her friend's face all the while secretly sleeping with her friend's boyfriend for six months.