Real Housewives of New York OG Bethenny Frankel doubles down on her “reality TV reckoning” plans but clarifies that she’s not suing “toxic” Bravo.
To start, Bethenny Frankel reflected on her reality TV success, admitting that she built a career by engaging in “conflict and judgment” with women she “pretended to know.”
“I’ve now spent time with and understand many of them — absent of cameras, publicists, media articles, and shows designed to bring out our worst. I adored many of them long before reality TV, and began to strongly dislike many of them,” she wrote.
She then pondered if the women of Real Housewives “changed” after becoming reality stars or if the “toxic environment designed for ratings” affected who they are and their friendships with each other.
“To be successful in reality TV, you must kill or be killed. To not get dirty is to get fired. Someone is winning, and someone is losing in this zero-sum game where people like myself get rich, and the less strategic go broke or get cancelled,” she continued.
The Skinnygirl mogul then boasted that she was “good at the game” because she was “broke and desperate and wanted ‘it’ so badly.”
“My one-liners and quick wit (crafted and honed from a dysfunctional childhood), often at others’ expense, shot me through the ranks of this toxic cesspool. This medium preys on and profits from the emotionally flawed and damaged,” she explained.
Bethenny Frankel also claimed that she “did not know what” she was getting into when she signed on for season 1 of of the Real Housewives of New York in 2008. However, the 52-year-old is quick to add that she “would do it again to not be broke and afraid.”
She added: “To clarify, me saying I would do it again means I was scared & desperate, and that is what is exploited in all of us.”
“Should it create a society at large glorifying women trashing each other for profit? I wanted to be something and helped create this genre, paving the road for those behind me,” she wrote, explaining the mindset behind her reality TV reckoning.
On top of that, Bethenny also addressed criticism from Bravo fans that she is “biting the hand that fed her.”
According to the Skinnygirl mogul, Bravo’s “hand deserves to be bitten.”
“We have fed the machine ratings, ad dollars, catchphrases, and content. We get filthy, and they get filthy rich,” she wrote.
As for Bravo’s recent vow to strengthen the workplace on their shows and conducting guidelines for reality stars, Bethenny says it’s a good start but that it is not enough.
Late last month, Deadline reported some of Bravo’s new guidelines:
“NBCU is asking for enhanced workplace training specifically tailored to unscripted production environment and all principals of production companies, “including those that only occasionally interact with cast and crew,” will be required to attend training. It is also implementing “more serious consequences for physical violence on set.”
“A letter about an on-set psychologist and a reduction of alcohol consumption is a nice step, but won’t suffice,” Bethenny said about Bravo’s new guidelines.
In conclusion, Bethenny expressed gratitude for the opportunities she received, thanks to her success on RHONY. She also apologized to the people she has “judged and criticized.”
“The reality reckoning is true, real, and I’ll lead by example and evolve for myself and for my daughter. This is not only a reckoning within an industry but one within myself,” she shared.