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Reality TV: 'Hollywood's sweatshop'?
Reality TV is lucrative, but contestants don't get a big share of the wealth
 

Reality TV is becoming "Hollywood's sweatshop," said Edward Wyatt in The New York Times. Reality shows "now account for more than one-quarter of all primetime broadcast programming," yet contestants "are not covered by Hollywood workplace rules" and most "receive little to no pay for their work." And many programs reportedly "use isolation, sleeplessness, and alcohol to encourage wild behavior."

It's "very telling that none of the networks solicited by the Times commented for Wyatt's story," said Sharon Waxman in The Wrap. Of course, reality show practices are "no secret in Hollywood," but the Times article revealed these "dirty little secrets" to the rest of us. The scrutiny is overdue—now we all know there's a "price" to be "paid for the diversion of the American masses with cheapie entertainment."

But who knows "whether any pressure will be put on producers to be a little more careful with their charges," said Catharine P. Taylor in BNET Media Blog. And it's not as if contestants can unionize, because "most don't appear on reality shows year after year." It's likely that the reaction to Wyatt's New York Times article "will be a collective shrug, as if to say that people on reality shows get exactly what they deserve."

 

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