The reality TV industry has been the target of union campaigns recently, thanks to its well-documented and widespread awful working conditions. Now, a new survey shows just how much reality TV workers are earning.
A survey of more than 500 U.S. reality TV workers, just released by a TV production consulting firm called Brits in the Box, gives a detailed look at worker pay and working conditions at all levels of the industry—which, unlike scripted TV, is not widely unionized. A little over half of the survey’s respondents work for production companies; the rest work mostly for networks and post-production companies.
Some relevant findings about reality TV pay:
- Though women earn more in a handful of positions, there is an advantage for males higher up the chain: “Male Producers and Executives earned 12 - 12.5% more than their female counterparts (and an incredible 63% more for Development Execs). In Post-Production male Editors earnings were 29% more, and male Post-Production Supervisors earnings were 22.5% more than their female counterparts.”
- Only the lowest-level gigs saw higher pay on the east coast; for the most part, pay for similar jobs on the West coast was noticeably higher.
- And here, the median wages in the survey for various positions:
Not poverty wages (for most positions), but far from the lavish wages of their non-reality TV counterparts. And when you consider the pay, you have to balance it against the working conditions, as well.
More on that next week.