Tom Sandoval, Special Forces
Photo Credit: Pete Dadds/FOX ©2023 FOX Media LLC.

Special Forces Stars Including Tom Sandoval and JoJo Siwa on Reality TV Union Talks

Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test is coming to FOX on Monday, September 25. But ahead of the premiere for general audiences, the stars showed up to a Los Angeles premiere on September 12.

During the premiere, some of the show’s stars weighed in on the idea of a reality TV union and potential strike. The idea comes amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. While many suggested a reality TV union for years, Bethenny Frankel has popularized the idea as of late.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with contestants like Tom Sandoval and JoJo Siwa to get their thoughts on unionizing. Here’s what they had to say.

Tom Sandoval: “Reality people go through a lot worse” than actors

Vanderpump Rules’ own ball of controversy explained, “I have mixed feelings. Look, I think there should be a reality TV union. There’s a lot of like, ‘If you won’t do it, someone else will.’” He compared reality TV to his early days in modeling, where new models were severely underpaid simply because they were new.

He then compared the struggles of actors and reality TV stars. “There’s no eight-hour, 12-hour shoot days. when they re-show an episode of me on Vanderpump Rules, that’s not a good look and it brings up all these old feelings and old hatred of shitty things that I’ve maybe done or somebody has done in their past.

“So in a sense, people should be getting residuals for that because actually, if anything, reality people go through a lot worse than what actors do when they show episodes again.” This isn’t the Suffering Olympics, but regardless, reality stars absolutely do deserve residuals.

Tara Reid, JoJo Siwa, and Jack Osbourne on unions

Tara Reid, who starred in her own reality show, said, “I think a lot of people on reality feel the same way as a lot of people on streaming shows, going ‘Hey, if they run this show a million times, why am I not getting residuals on it, too?’ I think that’s a really fair question.”

JoJo, with her breadth of reality TV experience, said “I love making reality TV and I’m along for the journey. I think the world’s ever-evolving and if that’s where we evolve to, we’ve got to lean with it and rock with it.”

And Jack Osbourne, with 20 years of reality TV, said “I do think there is an imbalance; I don’t know if unionizing it will actually bring more work. I do support streaming services and networks sharing information because it is grossly imbalanced, but it’s my belief that they’re not [sharing] because people are not actually watching platforms as much as they’re touting.”

Special Forces premieres Monday, September 25, on FOX.