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9-09 CoverThe value system that our society maintains ceases to amaze me. In this crazy world of ours people who deal with human life, washing a**, literally spoon-feeding people, caring for the old and handicap make less money than people who go to Starbucks with their friends for a living and shop excessively. The coffee guzzlers and boutique dwellers that I am referring to are individuals like the women from The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, the barely legal chicks from The Hills. As well as any other reality show character that has surfaced recently.

I truly believe that the average person is unaware of the amount of money one can make on a reality show. The Real Housewives Of Atlanta for instance earn $30,000 per episode. Per episode! Not per month, not every few weeks. Jon and Kate Gosselin made a reported $75,000 per episode. No, these are not Disney dollars folks. The already very wealthy Donald Trump went from making $50,000 to $100,000 an episode. The stars of the show The Hills were making up to $125,000 and episode. Basically, the more popular the show, the higher the salary. How is this possible? Especially in this economy. These people are doing … nothing. There are doctors and caregivers whose bank accounts will never see that amount in their lifetime.

What Exactly Are They Getting Paid For
The supposed reasoning behind this large salary is that people are getting paid for opening up their lives to America. Blank stare. You knew what it was going to be like when you agreed to be a reality star. The cameras come into your home, work place, relationships, and family, for the world to see and judge. Why should you receive such a large amount for what is expected of you. You are a star of a reality series. You have to expect for your life to become open for all to see. However, that does not mean you should receive a person’s yearly salary in one day.

475x220What I don’t understand is how the networks can afford to pay these reality stars such lavish amounts when they barely want to pay their writers sensibly or treat them with any regard? Hence the writers strike. Look what the world has come to. People who have went to school and received training in the entertainment field have to fight for a nickel while a housewife from New Jersey can make big bread simply because we so want to see her pick her kid up from soccer practice and argue with her husband later about it.

Of course, they should get paid something. The cast of Big Brother receives $750 a week with a $500,000 pay off if you make it to the end. This salary is much more fitting for the job description of “Reality Star”.

Although, I am not a fan of reality series I do see the attraction to them. People are naturally nosey and we want to see other people’s lives. We want to be involved and judge their decisions. We love calling the real housewives “petty” from our living room or watching people plot against each other to last the longest on an island. I do not judge anyone for watching them, nor do I judge anyone for being on a reality show. I simply do not agree with the excessive salaries given to these people. Who are in essence, getting paid to be people living their lives. They are not discovering cures for diseases, helping the poor or sick.

Who do I blame? I blame the networks for providing such a lavish salary to undeserving, untrained, individuals with no acting background. I also blame you and me and society as whole for putting people like Nee-Nee Leakes on a fiscal pedestal over the doctor or nurse who is currently wiping the slob from the corners of your Granny’s mouth. Do me this favor, the next time you see your Granny’s nurse, give her a special thanks from me.

For more of La’Juanda “LJ” Knight check her out @ yeahshesaidit.com.

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  • Brazilian

    I agree with the writer of the article, but I also have to say that it’s not the fault of those on the reality shows to take advantage of the money that they are offered. Most people are driven by money anyways. The sad part that I see is that as a society we praise the actions of those that are superficial and nothing to offer, other than ridiculous drama and below average intelligence. I agree also that those that do great work for society and help to make it better don’t always end up being compensated for it. Take teachers…. Under paid and overworked.. How about Social workers… Most of these people have higher education but get paid so low. But I thought about it.. Why is it that people are so interested in uninteligent, nonproductive leeching personalities like most of those on reality TV….. It hit me.. We as a society enjoy seeing drama and tragedy… It’s like a car accident on the side of the expressway… It’s already at the side of the road but EVERYONE slows down to a crawl to rubberneck and take a good look. People are interested in seeing the fire.. and see the blood and guts.. It’ an experience that takes us out of the norm. You dont see anyone in a hypnotically entertained stare watching a Nurse help an elderly patient out of the bed to a chair… Or a teacher helping a student learn his multiplication tables.. It’s not EXTREME enough…. So in order to satisfy that extreme craving, people sit and watch hours and hours of mindless reality shows. Because of that, networks take advantage (like any business) of the situation and broadcast that type of show, making advertisers pay heavily to get a few minutes of your undivided attention. The part that bothers me though probably even more, is that as people watch these shows and see the fame/notoriety of these “stars” and their lucrative salaraies for being idiots….. they begin to emulate them and that starts fads and microcultures of people that think being useless and drama-filled is the “cool” thing to do… It’s like watching cattle being herded.. just follow the leader….