Reality TV’s Low-Wage and No-Wage Work
In keeping with this issue of Alternate Routes’ focus on forms
of low-waged and no-waged work, this article focuses on low-waged and
non-waged work in the reality TV production sector. How do reality-TV
studios try to maximize profits by keeping the costs of making their
commodities to a minimum, and how does the push for profit disorganize
and devalue labour? This article contextualizes and critiques how reality TV
studios try to maximize profits by minimizing production costs in three
sections. “Reality TV Producers: Work Behind the Scenes” shows how
reality TV’s classification as “non-scripted” programming enables
production companies to exploit a non-unionized workforce. “Reality TV
Celebrities: Work in the Scenes” highlights how reality TV production
companies exploit the no-waged labour of “contestant-participants.”
“Reality TV Interns: Work Behind the Scenes, and In Them” shows how
studios use internship programs to get workers to make reality TV
programs without pay and how some of these programs glorify no-waged
work. The article concludes on a more optimistic note with an overview of
reality-TV worker challenges to reality-TV’s owners with unionization,
strikes, litigation, publicity and discourse.
Copyright (c) 2015 Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Articles are published in Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research under the Creative Commons "Attribution/Non-Commercial/No Derivative Works" Canada licence.
The copyright for the articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles may be used, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial, not-for-profit settings. The submission of a manuscript to Alternate Routes will be taken to mean that the author understands and agrees to the following:
- the manuscript represents original work not previously published;
- the manuscript is not being considered elsewhere for publication in the same language (publication elsewhere in an alternate language does not preclude acceptance of submission to Alternate Routes);
- appropriate written copyright permissions have been secured for republication of any copyrighted material contained in the manuscript;
- copyright for this article is retained by the author, with first publication rights granted to Alternate Routes;
- by virtue of its appearance in this open access journal, it is understood that the article is freely available for use, with proper attribution, for educational and other non-commercial purposes;
- reuse of the article for commercial purposes by anyone other than the author requires permission of the author;
- the author agrees to cite Alternate Routes as a source whenever h/she later republishes or reuses the article in other platforms.