Eddie Lucas of “Below Deck” fame made some strong claims about the pay received by cast members on the franchise in an interview and some other Bravo stars are responding.
Lucas spoke with the New York Post and shaded some other Bravo franchises and the network over the pay received by “Below Deck” stars. “There is somebody monetizing off of the show, but it’s definitely not us,” the first officer shared. “‘Below Deck’ — regardless of it being the most popular show on Bravo — we are the lowest-paid cast members.”
Lucas also said it was “frustrating” to see Bravo stars on other franchises make “millions” when it felt like “Below Deck” stars were working harder, telling the Post, “While we do get paid better than a normal yachtie, of course, we are still not getting paid what people like the ‘Housewives’ are making, which is a little frustrating, because they’re not really working — they’re just going out to dinner and fighting.”
After those comments began circulating online, other Bravo stars responded to Lucas’ claims.
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Several ‘Below Deck’ Stars Spoke Up About Lucas’ Claims & Agreed With the First Officer
It seems as though Lucas wasn’t the only one who felt that way as a few other “Below Deck” stars agreed with his comments regarding pay. The Instagram account Below Deck Above Average shared a summary of Lucas’ interview and Jessica More from “Below Deck Mediterranean” commented, “Yep I see all facts in his statements,” with a clapping-hands emoji.
Dani Soares from “Below Deck Sailing Yacht” season 2 commented with a couple of very telling emojis, the pair of eyes and the mouth zipped shut. Ciara Duggan, who appeared on the first season of “Below Deck Sailing Yacht,” wrote, “He’s not wrong.” Tiffany Copeland, a “Below Deck Med” season 1 alum, wrote, “He ain’t wrong. Would be nice to get residuals when reruns air at least!”
Many fans also commented and expressed shock and dismay at what he revealed in his interview, including that he wasn’t asked back for season 10 of “Below Deck.” However, some people felt that he shouldn’t be shady to the network, with one person writing, “Never bite the hand that feed you.” Another agreed, “The #1 rule (well maybe #2) that I taught my kids is to never ever burn bridges!!”
There Isn’t a Lot of Public Information About the Pay That Various Bravo Stars Make
Most Bravo stars have remained tight-lipped about their salaries so it’s hard to know exactly how much cast members from different franchises make. Carole Radziwill, who appeared on “The Real Housewives of New York City,” shared on the “Behind the Velvet Rope With David Yontef” that in the first year of RHONY, “everyone gets paid $60,000” with hair and makeup costs taken out of that.
“I was like, ‘I’m not doing it for [$60,000], I’ll do it for a hundred,’” she shared. “They had blown up the show at that point and right… I only found out that Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher didn’t get $100,000 because then the second season we were negotiating and they gave us $150,000. Heather thought it was great. I’m like, ‘It’s not that great.’ And then I realized they had just paid her the $60,000. Of course, I immediately told her because I wasn’t gonna like pretend or lie to her.”
Brian Moylan, Housewives expert, wrote about the subject in his 2021 book, “The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives.” According to Us Weekly, Moylan wrote that RHOA’s Kandi Burruss is the highest-paid, racking in almost $2 million each season. He said the cast from that franchise makes the most money overall because that series brings in the highest ratings.
Us Weekly also wrote that new cast members usually make about $60,000 a season and that Gina Kirschenheiter from RHOC wrote in her divorce filings that she was paid $63,000 by the production company and $5,450 by NBCUniversal. RHOD star Cary Deuber said she made “less than a Birkin” bag when she joined Bravo but was making around $200,000 a season by season 3, the publication wrote.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the main cast members of “Vanderpump Rules” made around $10,000 for the entire first season but by 2017 and 2018 they made about $25,000 per episode after they negotiated new contracts. Lisa Vanderpump, on the other hand, is reported by the publication to have made more than double that.