It pays to be a reality star…at least on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The cable show, now in it’s 10th season, which currently documents the personal lives and business ventures of six Atlanta women, all either married or divorced, has been a hit since its debut in 2008. And no one can mention The Real Housewives of Atlanta without speaking the name Nene Leakes. She has been one of the biggest reasons for the show’s success, even when she took a break for a couple of seasons to pursue other industry opportunities. And it seems like the Broadway actress is being paid handsomely to help keep the show at its entertainment height.
Porsha Williams was given a $100,000 raise for her work on season 10 which is currently airing, but she only made $800,000 for the season. She’s the youngest cast member and may not have the bargaining experience of her older counterparts. She’s been on the show since season five.
Shereé Whitfield is an original member of the show, but she left during seasons five, six, seven, and eight. She only netted about $1 million this season though it was $200,000 more than she made in her previous years.
Kenya Moore was given a $100,000 raise to make $1.5 million for season 10, but she may not be getting any more money from Bravo anytime soon. Kenya has been unable to get her new, mysterious husband Marc Daly on the show, and the producers feel like she’s unwilling to share the reality of her life on camera. She was fined $25,000 for not getting her father on camera to tell him about her surprise Caribbean wedding, and she lost out on the two-episode Spain trip costing her $100,000.
Cynthia Bailey got the largest bump for this season. She went from $1.2 million to $1.6 million on season 10. Her storyline is quite intriguing since she divorced her husband Peter and started dating again. Her struggle trying to manage her relationships with Kenya and NeNe Leakes also makes for great TV.
Kandi Burruss was the wealthiest pre-show ‘Housewife.’ Her years in the entertainment industry as part of girl group Xscape made her a multi-millionaire in her own right. She knows how to negotiate and get what she wants. She got a $200,000 bump for season 10, and she pulls in $2 million.
NeNe Leakes made her triumphant return to ‘RHOA’ for season 10 after a run in TV and on Broadway. She is an original member of the show, but left in season eight after becoming too busy with other things in her life to film. She commanded $2.5 million for season 10 and is the highest-paid star on the show by far.
Well, no surprises there. However, some are questioning whether the salaries are too big because they’re just “reality stars.” I say cheers to the ladies for what DJ Khaled calls, “securing the bag.” These are Black women making money moves, so I am always here for that.