Below Deck’s Eddie Lucas made some strong claims in an interview about the pay the franchise’s cast members receive, and several other Bravo stars respond.
Speaking to the New York Post, Lucas shadowed several other Bravo franchises and the network about paying the “Below Deck” stars. “There is someone monetizing the show, but it’s definitely not us,” the first officer shared. “Below Deck – despite being the most popular show on Bravo – we are the lowest paid performers.”
Lucas also said it was “frustrating” to see Bravo stars making “millions” in other franchises when it felt like “Below Deck” stars were working harder, telling the Post, “Though we obviously get paid better than a regular yachtie, we still don’t get paid what people like ‘housewives’ earn, which is a little frustrating because they don’t really work – they just go out to dinner and fight.”
After those comments circulated online, other Bravo stars responded to Lucas’ claims.
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It seems Lucas wasn’t the only one who felt this way, as several other Below Deck stars echoed his comments about the pay. The Instagram account Below Deck Above Average shared a summary of Lucas’ interview and Jessica More from Below Deck Mediterranean commented, “Yes I see all the facts in his statements” with a hand clapping emoji.
Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2’s Dani Soares commented with some very meaningful emojis, the pair of eyes and the closed mouth. Ciara Duggan, who appeared on the first season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht, wrote, “He’s not wrong.” Tiffany Copeland, a Season 1 alum of Below Deck Med, wrote, “He’s not wrong. Would be nice to get leftovers at least on repeats!”
Many fans also expressed shock and dismay at what he revealed in his interview, including the fact that he wasn’t reclaimed for Season 10 of Below Deck. However, some people felt he shouldn’t be shady about the network, with one person writing, “Never bite the hand that feeds you.” Another agreed, “Rule #1 (well, maybe # . 2) I taught my kids is: Never burn bridges!!”
Most Bravo stars are tight-lipped about their salaries, so it’s difficult to know exactly how much cast members from different franchises make. Carole Radziwill, who appeared on “The Real Housewives of New York City,” shared in “Behind the Velvet Rope With David Yontef” that RHONY’s first year “everyone gets paid $60,000,” with the cost of hair and make-up -to be peeled off that.
“I thought, ‘I’m not doing it for that [$60,000]”I’ll do it for a hundred,” she shared. “They had blown up the show by that point and right … I just found out that Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher didn’t get $100,000 because then in season two we negotiated and they gave us $150,000. Heather thought it was great. I say, ‘It’s not great.’ And then I realized they had just paid her the $60,000. Of course I told her right away because I wouldn’t like to pretend or lie to her.”
Housewife expert Brian Moylan wrote about the topic in his 2021 book, The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives. According to Us Weekly, Moylan wrote that RHOA’s Kandi Burruss is the highest paid, raking in nearly $2 million each season. He said that the cast of this franchise makes the most money overall because this series gets the highest ratings.
Us Weekly also wrote that new cast members typically make about $60,000 per season and that RHOC’s Gina Kirschenheiter wrote in her divorce filings that she received $63,000 from the production company and $5,450 from NBCUniversal. RHOD star Cary Deuber said she made “less than a Birkin” bag when she joined Bravo, but made around $200,000 a season through season three, the publication wrote.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the main cast of “Vanderpump Rules” made about $10,000 for the entire first season, but in 2017 and 2018 they made about $25,000 per episode after renegotiating new contracts. Lisa Vanderpump, on the other hand, is said to have earned more than twice as much, according to the publication.
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