Power players Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos are now working alongside Frankel to investigate the treatment of reality stars.
Freedman tells VARIETY that he has heard from roughly 50 reality show cast members who believe that they were “used and unfairly” treated by television networks and streamers.
“Something has to change because the current system is broken,” Geragos says.
Frankel’s quest comes amid the writers and actors strike that has effectively shut down Hollywood.
Reality TV can still be produced during the double strike, and most networks will be heavily relying on unscripted programming this fall.
But Frankel has taken a stance that reality stars should unionize to fight for their rights, as well.
“Just because you can exploit young, doe-eyed talent desperate for the platform TV gives them, it doesn’t mean you should,” Frankel said. “They don’t know what they don’t know. I was playing chess, but how do I help the people who may not know the game?”
Freedman says. “This is going to end up being a war and I’m going to lead the war.”
Freedman is currently representing Vanna White in her fight against Sony for a higher salary on “Wheel of Fortune.”
He negotiated longtime “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison’s payout when he exited the ABC dating.
He won an undisclosed settlement in 2020 for Gabrielle Union after she alleged rampant workplace toxicity when she was a judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
He famously won Megyn Kelly’s $69 million payout from NBC News, and he’s currently working with the recently-terminated Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon.
Freedman notes that reality stars often sign unfair and low-paid contracts, in exchange for the opportunity to be on TV.
“Something has to happen because the current system is broken,” Geragos says. “I’m not a betting man but if I had to prognosticate, I think this will end up in the courts.”
Bethenny Frankel Enlists Power Attorneys to Fight for Reality Star. Bethenny Frankel Enlists Power Attorneys to Fight for Reality Star