The set of daytime TV talk show The Real has seen it’s fair share of drama beginning with the sudden departure of Tamar Braxton after the second season in which the songstress accused the other hosts conspiring against her. And since the women are known to bring the real, we’ve witnessed tension on the panel over the years as the remaining four hosts discuss topics in the world, pop culture and their personal lives that they don’t always agree on. Just a few months ago, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley engaged in a cringeworthy exchange as the pair debated sexual orientation’s place on Sesame Street.
The Daily Mail is now reporting that there has recently been some beef broiling behind the scenes at the Emmy-winning talk show and it all has to do with some distinct salary differences between the hosts. Jeannie Mai and Adrienne Bailon apparently have some real issues with the fact that Tamera Mowry-Housley is the highest paid host on the show (comedienne Loni Love is allegedly the second). Sources report the two personalities only receive a third of what the former child actress who graced TV screens in the 90’s on the beloved show Sister, Sister is paid. Sources also share that their problem wasn’t exactly with the pay gap, their problem was with he fact that Mowry-Housley refused to assist them in their demands for a raise:
“Once they won the Emmy [in April], Jeannie and Adrienne started complaining about how they knew they weren’t being compensated the same as their fellow co-hosts Loni and Tamera. They were even talking about staging a walk out.”
“Initially, they wanted both Tamera and Loni to support them in their quest to get better deals on the show, but when both ladies declined that definitely meant that lines were drawn.”
In addition, the source claims that Mowry-Housley’s huge pay check may in fact be unwarranted. They revealed that ratings for the show actually increased by 18% (the highest jump all year) when Mowry-Housley took bereavement time off for the tragic shooting death of her 18-year-old niece (the daughter of husband Adam Housley’s brother) who was killed in the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. The source says the jump was used to support their demands when Mai and Bailon approached production:
“Of the four hosts, Tamera has the highest salary. And while she was gone from the show, the ratings jumped.”
”Both girls kept saying, ‘How’s she making the most money and the show is doing better without her being here?’ That gave them the leverage they needed to justify their ask for more money.”
“Overall, the ladies of The Real don’t speak behind the scenes until they hit the stage door to come out. They play girlfriends on TV, but in real life, their relationship is strained to say the least.”
”Regardless, it’s clear that Jeannie and Adrienne are lobbying for bigger paydays and their co-hosts aren’t interested in helping them achieve that.”
The source also shares that tension also exists due to the fact that Mowry-Housley isn’t keeping it all the way real and owning her Republican views on air choosing to tip toe around political discussions.
Ehhhh, I’m not sure if I’m inclined to believe that these women would use Tamera’s devastating circumstances as leverage to prove that they deserve higher salaries. The panel has been involved in a number of messy squabbles but have always handled conflict with class and what I believe is a genuine concern for one another, even if they can’t always be on the same page. However, if there is any truth to this, I will say that it’s justified that hosts be paid differently based on the branding and name recognition they bring to the show. Mowry-Housley was a household name since the 90’s so it makes sense that she may see more zeros on her pay check, but that doesn’t mean the remaining hosts were exactly nobodies. Mai was a pretty well-known stylist appearing on shows like How Do I Look? and Style Pop. And let’s not act like we weren’t getting “cheetalicious” with Adrienne Bailon during her days as a member of 3LW and star of Disney franchise The Cheetah Girls.
Still, is your homegirl/colleague obligated to go to bat for you when it comes to your coins? It’s one thing if a colleague doesn’t want to jeopardize her own position at work, but it’s a totally different thing for her to want no parts of the conversation. I personally believe when women are placed in positions of privilege and/or power we owe a helping hand to our sisters who are working just as hard to climb the ranks. The help doesn’t always have to be in the form of demands for a raise, it could be simple as career coaching or sharing opportunities with others that may not be the best fit for you. While discussions of compensation and pay gaps can be unfair, I think it’s a step in the right direction that we can be transparent with one another in our quest for equality among one another so that’s we’re all seeing our worth, particularly in a world where there are bigger glass ceilings to break.