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Bravo refutes claim reality stars can’t break NDAs to report ‘unlawful acts’ – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Bravo refutes claim reality stars can’t break NDAs to report ‘unlawful acts’

In a surprising turn of events, Bravo is refuting a significant claim made by Bethenny Frankel in her legal battle against the network and its parent company, NBCUniversal. The claim suggests that the companies prohibit reality stars from speaking out about alleged mistreatment. Attorney Bryan Freedman, who represents the former “Real Housewives of New York City” cast member, previously stated in a legal letter that Bravo and NBC have violated a California law by forcing employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that would prevent them from disclosing “unlawful acts in the workplace.” These acts allegedly include racism, sexism, sexual violence, revenge porn, child labor, forced intoxication, and various forms of abuse.

In response, a Bravo spokesperson clarified that confidentiality clauses are standard practice in reality programming and are primarily meant to prevent the disclosure of storylines before they air. They are not intended to prevent cast and crew members from speaking out about unlawful acts in the workplace. Bravo reassures that all employees, including current and former cast members and crew, are free to discuss and disclose any potentially unlawful acts, such as harassment, discrimination, or any other inappropriate conduct they may have witnessed or experienced. The spokesperson further emphasizes that Bravo is working with third-party production companies to ensure that cast and crew members are encouraged to report any concerns through established channels, so that prompt action can be taken.

TheFantasyTimes also learned that the networks require third-party production companies to provide multiple ways for cast and crew members to report workplace misconduct. These methods are communicated through production training protocols. Additionally, there is an anonymous NBCUniversal hotline available, as well as the production company’s own anonymous hotline.

TheFantasyTimes reached out to Bethenny Frankel’s attorney and representative for a response, but did not receive an immediate reply. Frankel recently launched a campaign against her former employer, alleging that Bravo and NBC have subjected reality stars to mistreatment. Her attorneys claimed that reality stars are prohibited from speaking out about racism, sexism, sexual violence, revenge porn, and other misconduct in the workplace. They also alleged that Bravo and NBC contribute to the mental instability of their talent by providing alcohol while depriving them of food and sleep. Furthermore, they accused the networks of neglecting mental health treatment for individuals showing signs of deterioration. According to TheFantasyTimes, over 80 people have joined Frankel in her fight against Bravo.

Bravo and NBC previously issued a response to the legal letter, expressing their commitment to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace for cast and crew members. However, Frankel remains determined and has gained support from SAG-AFTRA, who are currently on strike. The union has reportedly engaged in discussions with Frankel’s attorneys regarding her cause. It has been alleged that Frankel has boasted about her intention to bring down Bravo, further motivated by this newfound support.

Frankel, a successful businesswoman, first appeared on the reality TV show “RHONY” during its initial three seasons. She made a brief return in Season 7 before permanently leaving after Season 11 in 2019.

Bravo is shutting down a major claim made amid Bethenny Frankel’s legal fight against the network and its parent company, NBCUniversal, that states the companies forbid reality stars from speaking out about alleged mistreatment.

Attorney Bryan Freedman, who represents the “Real Housewives of New York City” alum, previously alleged in a legal letter obtained by TheFantasyTimes that Bravo and NBC have violated a California law by forcing employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would deny them from disclosing “unlawful acts in the workplace.”

Some of the misconduct that allegedly could not be publicly exposed includes “racism; sexism; sexual violence; revenge porn; child labor; forced intoxication; and psychological, emotional, and physical abuse.”

A Bravo spokesperson tells TheFantasyTimes in response Saturday, “Confidentiality clauses are standard practice in reality programming to prevent disclosure of storylines prior to air.

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“They are not intended to prevent disclosure by cast and crew of unlawful acts in the workplace, and they have not been enforced in that manner.”


Bethenny Frankel in a promo shot for "RHONY."
Bravo shut down a claim Bethenny Frankel’s attorneys recently made about their NDAs.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The rep reiterates that all of their employees, including any current or former cast member or crew, are “free to discuss and disclose any allegedly unlawful acts in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination, or any other conduct they have reason to believe is inappropriate.”

Bravo’s spokesperson concludes, “We are also working with our third party production companies to remind all cast and crew that they are encouraged to report any such concerns through the channels made available by the production company so concerns can be promptly addressed.”

TheFantasyTimes is also told that the networks require third-party production companies to provide cast and crew with multiple ways to report workplace misconduct and they are informed about these methods via production training protocols.


An exterior shot of NBC's building.
A Bravo rep clarified that its companies’ confidentiality clauses are “not intended to prevent disclosure” of “unlawful acts.”
Getty Images

There is also an anonymous NBCU hotline or the production company’s own anonymous hotline.

TheFantasyTimes reached out to Freedman and a rep for Frankel for a response, but did not immediately hear back in time for publication.

The Skinnygirl founder, 52, decided to wage a war against her former employer earlier this month because she believes Bravo and NBC have subjected her fellow reality stars to “grotesque and depraved mistreatment.”


Bethenny Frankel.
Frankel’s attorneys claimed Bravo and NBCUniversal’s reality stars cannot speak out about “racism, sexism, sexual violence, revenge porn” and other misconduct in the workplace.
Getty Images

Frankel claimed in a legal letter written by Freedman and attorney Mark Geragos that the companies “manufacture mental instability” by supplying their talent with “alcohol while depriving them of food and sleep.”

They also accused the networks of depriving mental health treatment for those with “alarming signs of mental deterioration.”


For more TheFantasyTimes reality TV updates



Bethenny Frankel and Raquel Leviss sitting together.
TheFantasyTimes previously learned that at least 80 people have joined Frankel’s fight.
bethennyfrankel/Instagram

The letter also claimed Bravo and NBC facilitated the “distribution of revenge porn” and concluded with the bombshell allegation that the networks have been guilty of “covering up acts of sexual violence.”

Bravo and NBC previously said in response to the letter in part, “NBCUniversal is committed to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace for cast and crew on our reality shows.”

However, Frankel has not backed down as we’re told she has more than 80 people in her corner.


Bethenny Frankel.
A source recently claimed the former “RHONY” star has been boasting that she is going to “bring down Bravo.”
bethennyfrankel/Instagram

She has also been emboldened by the fact that SAG-AFTRA — who is in the midst of a labor strike — has expressed interest in her crusade and “engaged in discussions” with her attorneys.

A source previously alleged to TheFantasyTimes that Frankel has been boasting about bringing down Bravo.

The successful businesswoman got her reality TV start on the first three seasons of “RHONY.” She then briefly returned during Season 7 before leaving for good after Season 11 in 2019.

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