Are Reality Television Stars Paid Too Much?

by Shawanda Greene

Pauly D and The Situation in Italy

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

I’m super pumped to talk about two of my favorite subjects:

Money and Reality Television Stars

In an article I read on Yahoo, Pauly D Lawsuit Reveals Jersey Shore Pay, I learned the reality star stands to earn over $2 million for Season 6 of the show. Amazingly, that figure doesn’t include fees he’ll receive for reunion shows, merchandising, appearances, and the like. Imagine how much money he’s made since Jersey Shore premiered in 2009.

I think we can all agree that a few million bucks for looking good, having sex, getting drunk and punching people in the face is a pretty sweet deal. (And that Angelina was an idiot for the leaving the Jersey Shore cast not once, but twice.)

As is often the case, I read the opinions left by the predictably ill informed and racist individuals who comment on Yahoo articles.

What I found disturbing about the comments on this article weren’t the usual avatars of Obama as a clown faced baboon. No, not this time. I was disgusted by the level of hate geared toward the Jersey Shore cast members for getting paid a truckload of cash.

Here’s what a few commenters had to say:

Hater #1

$175,000 per episode!! While millions of hard working american families can barely make ends meet….i feel sick.

Hater #2

It’s ridiculous to get paid that much just to do your hair and party 24/7. Make’s you really question where the ambition of American’s is going?

Hater #3

Disgusting….people in the real world are struggling just to make ends meet and yet these scumbags are making over a million dollars to act like pigs. I will say that the only way I would ever watch the Jersey Shore is if they all simultaneously stepped on a land mine!

Isn’t it cute how so many people are concerned about the financial well being of others?

If you share the views of Haters 1 through 3, please, tell me, why are your financial struggles anyone’s business but your own?

If Snooki worked for free, would you magically get a 50% pay increase on your job?

Would your student loan debt disappear?

Would your kids get smarter, your belly get flatter, and your husband get better in bed?

Besides giving you the warm and fuzzies, if JWoww was penniless with tiny boobs, what impact would her transformation have on your ability to make more money?! I’ll tell you. JWoww’s overdrawn bank account and B-cups would do nothing – NOTHING – to convert one ion of energy into income for you.

Even if you think the cast of the hit MTV reality show are nothing more than a bucket of overly tanned, deep fried, human skin, you gotta admit, they are entertaining. If not to you, they’re entertaining to someone.

Who are you to begrudge people who’ve brought so much  joy and laughter into homes all across this great nation a few million dollars?

MTV isn’t shelling out millions of dollars to these guys for charity. Jersey Shore is a gold mine for the network. There’s value in entertainment. And for that, Pauly D, The Situation, Ronnie, and the rest of ‘em should receive fair pay for their services.

Some argue that reality television stars shouldn’t rake in so much dough because they lack talent. I disagree. After all, they know how to make themselves relevant. Their ridiculous behavior catapults them to fame and we can’t seem to get enough of it.

Personally, I don’t care if you engage in questionable, immoral acts to accomplish your goals.

Take Kim Kardashian. The girl made a sex tape. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kim and her mother, Kris Jenner, leaked the video themselves. Although the Kardashians are a group of extremely hardworking, business minded women, I think it was Kim’s romp with Ray J that really helped popularize the crew.

Kim Kardashian

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Of course, you’d never do anything that’d bring shame upon yourself or your family for money. All right. Cool.

If you have a problem with embarrassing yourself in front of millions of people in exchange for cash, it’s simple. Make sure you don’t embarrass yourself in front of millions of people in exchange for cash.

You just go right ahead and make your money the old fashioned way.

What are your thoughts? Do you think reality television stars are paid too much?

Did you enjoy this article?
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Toy Lady April 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I don't know, I barely know who most of these people are – reality TV just doesn't appeal to me. But it obviously appeals to someone – and a lot of someones, I'd guess.

And really, how is this any different than, say, what a top sit-com star is paid? (Charlie Sheen made $40M last year? Ray Romano made $20M – and he wasn't even working!) Not to mention movie starts. It just seems like these haters are hating because they believe it really is "reality" – that these people are just going about their daily lives and someone is just handing money for nothing (and chicks for free).

It just seems to me that, just like everything else, the market sets the price. If MTV (or whoever) wasn't making money, they wouldn't pay that much. The people who are paying this kind of money obviously think it's a good investment.

And you're definitely right about one thing – what these people are paid takes absolutely nothing away from me. I'm still working at the same job, making the same money, whether they exist or not.


Shawanda April 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Sometimes I wonder if the Jersey Shore cast gets tired of partying and getting drunk. As you get older that stuff loses its appeal. I wouldn't be surprised if going out feels like work to them now. They're not that young anymore.


addvodka April 19, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I'm in the "I don't really care how much they are paid" boat. Granted, if I watched the shows and disliked them more, maybe I'd be jealous, but I don't so I'm not. I can definitely say I wish that I could strike it rich on a reality show!


Shawanda April 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Sign me up! I'd love to be a "Real Housewife" even though I'm not a housewife and not married. But then again, half of the "Housewives" aren't either. :)


Life [Comma] Etc April 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I have a confession: I would normally completely agree with Haters #1-3, I just wouldn't be as indignant about it. That said, you make a REALLY good point. Reality stars making money has less than zero impact on my salary!

I think what Haters #1-3 are inarticulately trying to say is "I am upset that those TV stars appear to be more valuable to society than I am," which is still no fault of the TV star.

What Haters #1-3 need to remember is that they chose to work the 9-5 and therefore get to be proud of how they make their money. And that's supposed to be enough!

If not, maybe they should get on one of those "Hardworking 9-5er reality TV shows," which are getting pretty popular nowadays!


Shawanda April 19, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Absolutely. Viewers tell networks what they want. If the network gets it wrong, their viewership diminishes and they lose money. That's how it works. If networks refused to pay their reality "celebrities" they wouldn't hand over a dime of those savings to their viewers. I'd rather the little man get more of the profits anyway.


YFS April 19, 2012 at 9:02 PM

I guess these people would hate athletes also? I don't get why people are so mad at entertainers or atheletes for making so much money. They are celebrities for a reason. Here is my message to the haters..The day you can get 2+ million people to be vaguely interested in something you do then you will make money. If you can't do that STFU.

Are they mad at instagram for selling for 1 billion too? People just like to complain instead of taking a step back and asking "Why?"


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