It is common practice for every cast member who signs on to a reality show to sign a detailed contract waiving many of their rights. Show’s like "Survivor," "Jersey Shore," "Teen Mom" and even Bravo’s "Real Housewives" have clauses that make it almost impossible to take legal action against the show or fellow contestants. But now following the suicide of Russell Armstrong, husband to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, expect to see even tougher contracts that cast members will be required to sign.
“I’m ashamed to admit I work on a show that once had in writing that contestants agreed we could humiliate them,” one producer told me. “I have even seen contracts for dating shows that say if you contract a sexual disease on the show the producers were not responsible. What’s the amazing part is that the people that go on these shows are so desperate to be famous, and have no real talent, that they actually sign these deals.”
It is no secret that even folks with talent performing on "American Idol" sign their careers away to the show for several years, regardless of whether or not they actually win. But now, after the tragic incidents surrounding the death of one reality star, expect to see way more psychological tests.
“We all have in our contracts that Bravo can force us to take a [psychological] test,” one cast member of "The Real Housewives of New York" tells me. “To my knowledge nobody did, but moving forward any new cast members will for sure. This isn’t to protect the talent but rather to protect Bravo for the next time something horrid happens.”
Hopefully there won't be a next time.
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