Looks like Bravo has finally woken up and smelled the PR disaster looming at their door. For months, NBCUniversal has faced scrutiny over reality TV production. Each week, more reality stars came forward to discuss their awful experiences on reality TV sets.
The criticism wasn’t exclusive to Bravo — other reality TV producers took hits as well — but Bravo was heavily spotlighted by Bethenny Frankel. As a strong proponent of a reality TV union, the former Real Housewives of New York star’s latest crusade has been to fight for the rights of the up-and-coming reality stars.
And despite some of Bethenny’s awful takes as of late, she had important points to make here. They were so strong in fact, that lawyers jumped in to apply plenty of pressure on Bravo. Now, things are looking to improve, with new guidelines for production companies under NBCU’s umbrella.
Bravo’s new requirements for production
Deadline reported the specific details of Bravo’s new and improved guidelines. Frances Berwick, the Chairman of NBCUniversal, sent a note to external production companies that first highlighted the use of alcohol. Bravo “will require … expanded alcohol-related training to the cast, crew and production team.”
The training “must include details on how production will monitor alcohol, including when consumption limits may be appropriate and when and how to intervene to maintain cast and crew safety.” The changes also include mandatory on-set HR presence, workplace training specific to unscripted productions, and “more serious consequences for physical violence on set.”
Lastly, the changes addressed confidentiality clauses. “We expect that production companies will ensure that all talent and crew agreements have confidentiality language that carves out reporting of unlawful conduct.” NBCU and Berwick will be setting meetings with their outside production companies.
Bethenny says there’s more to come
While Berwick didn’t say so directly, these changes came in the face of increased pressure from Bethenny Frankel and her attorneys. Bethenny posted the headline on her Instagram and made a statement to accompany the news. “It’s not easy to burn bridges and speak up about what should be obvious to many,” she wrote.
Bethenny cast condemnation at those who’ve said, “people sign up for mistreatment.” She also condemned Housewives who “know how to handle themselves,” and don’t look out for others as a result. “To the ones strong enough to speak up and reach out to me, your courage is commended.” She described the industry as “a zero sum game” for the stars.
She gave a “Bravo” to Frances Berwick, calling her “a strong example to women, to executives and to other networks.” She signed off by triumphantly declaring “The reality reckoning is here,” but that things were “far from over. We are just getting started…”
TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BRAVO’S UPDATED GUIDELINES? WILL THESE POLICIES HELP OR HINDER PRODUCTION?