Andy Cohen Vetoes Idea of Reality-Star Union: ‘You’re Not Drafted Into the Real Housewives’

Sorry, Bethenny Frankel: Real Housewives boss Andy Cohen isn’t on board with the idea of a labor union for reality stars.

In a new interview, Cohen — who made it clear he was speaking as an independent producer and not a representative of Bravo — did not show support for the notion championed by Real Housewives of New York City alum Frankel.

More from TVLine

“You don’t go to school to be a reality star,” he tells our sister site The Hollywood Reporter. “Reality stars typically have other jobs. They’re bar owners, they’re designers. They’re doctors. I think the way that Bravo pays people is that it’s a buyout — they’re buying them out for a show that can be distributed in certain ways, and the longer you stay on, the higher your salary gets. And salaries for people who have been on a long time are really high.”

He adds: “Look, you’re not drafted into the Real Housewives. You either want to be on the show or not, and you either see it as having some greater benefit for you or not.”

In July 2023, amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Frankel argued that unscripted TV personalities should be paid residuals when repeats of their shows air on cable and stream online.

“Why isn’t reality TV on strike?” she asked on Instagram. “I got paid $7,250 for my first season of reality TV, and people are still watching those episodes… I, myself, have generated millions and millions of dollars in advertising and online impressions being on reality TV, and I have never made a single residual. So, either I’m missing something, or we’re being screwed, too.”

THR also asked Cohen about allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and substance abuse during Housewives filming. “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about some of those things,” he says, citing pending lawsuits. But he did assert that “We don’t force anyone to do anything” and refuted claims that producers were hiding alcohol on set to undermine housewives’ sobriety.

“We don’t need to gin up drama!,” he says. “Have you seen Ramona Singer on a random Tuesday at 1 p.m.? Have you ever run into Lisa Rinna at noon? Lisa Rinna does not need a glass of rosé in order to tell you exactly how she is feeling.”

Best of TVLine

Get more from Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter