Will reality TV be exposed?
After Bethenny Frankel and her lawyers went to Bravo and NBCUniversal with claims of sexual violence, booze and the "grotesque and depraved mistreatment of the reality stars and crewmembers" last week, the networks fought back explaining stars have always had the ability to break NDAs in order to report illegal activity.
"Confidentiality clauses are standard practice in reality programming to prevent disclosure of storylines prior to air. They are not intended to prevent disclosure by cast and crew of unlawful acts in the workplace, and they have not been enforced in that manner," they began.
"To be clear: any current or former cast or crew is free to discuss and disclose any allegedly unlawful acts in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination, or any other conduct they have reason to believe is inappropriate," the rep continued.
"We are also working with our third-party production companies to remind all cast and crew that they are encouraged to report any such concerns through the channels made available by the production company so concerns can be promptly addressed," they insisted.
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Following this statement, NBCU has apparently emphasized that production must give participants multiple avenues to report incidents.
Shortly after Frankel began spewing her dream of a union for reality TV stars, her attorney Bryan Freedman addressed NBCU EVP/General Counsel Kimberley D. Harris: "On innumerable occasions, which we will further detail in due course, NBC has exceeded the moral and legal limits permissible in a civilized society governed by the rule of law."
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"The day of reckoning has arrived," Freedman added. "In the course of our investigation, we have not only confirmed the veracity of our initial allegations but have also discovered that the breadth and scope of your wrongdoing is greater than previously believed."
"We are left with the inescapable conclusion that NBC and its production partners are grappling with systemic rot for which sunlight is the first necessary remedial measure," he continued. "NBCUniversal has two choices: lead by example or be forced into compliance."
Deadline reported on the network's statement.