Underpaid and Mistreated: Former ‘Below Deck’ Stars Expose Pay Discrepancy and Racism on Bravo Show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former stars of the reality show “Below Deck” have come forward to claim that they were significantly underpaid compared to cast members of the “Real Housewives” franchise and that they faced racist comments during filming.

According to a recent article in Business Insider, some of the stars of “Below Deck” reported earning between $5,000 and $6,000 per month, while captains on the show could earn nearly triple that amount. In contrast, cast members of the “Real Housewives” series reportedly make up to $1 million per season, and some stars of “Southern Charm” make $25,000 per episode.

Ashley Marti, a former stewardess on “Below Deck Sailing Yacht,” expressed her frustration at the pay discrepancy, stating, “We’re on TV, but technically we’re the help. We don’t get the same treatment.”

In addition to the pay disparity, former cast members also alleged mistreatment during filming. Gabriela Barragán, who appeared on “Below Deck Sailing Yacht,” claimed that a producer encouraged her to consume alcohol despite knowing about her substance abuse issues. Barragán, who is black and Latina, also stated that she experienced racist microaggressions from her co-stars.

Another former cast member, Elizabeth Frankini, alleged that producers urged her to sleep in the yacht’s guest cabins with her co-star, while she was ultimately fired for this action while her co-star kept his job.

Bravo, the network that airs “Below Deck,” responded to the allegations by stating that they take misconduct claims seriously and review all allegations brought to their attention. They also stated that they have implemented stricter guidelines on alcohol consumption and increased psychological support for their cast and crew.

The stories shared by the former “Below Deck” stars highlight the ongoing issues of pay disparity and mistreatment in the reality TV industry. These revelations call into question the fairness and treatment of cast members who contribute to the success of these popular shows.

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