Unless you are a reality television fan, you're probably wondering what in the world the "Bethenny Clause" is. Even some avid Real Housewives enthusiasts are mistaken about what the clause actually means for these television personalities. Don't worry, we're here to explain! In this blog, we will discuss what the Bethenny Clause is, what it affects, and how it came to be.
What is it?
First off, the "Bethenny Clause" is a term that has been coined in the industry for a contract provision that grants the television network a specific percentage of profits of a tv personality's private businesses that are promoted on screen. While "Bethenny Clause" is more of a nickname, and not a recognized legal term, it can certainly have huge legal impacts for the tv personality.
How does it affect tv personalities?
Typically, this contract provision reserves to the tv network a particular percentage of revenue that the personality's business made during that tv season. The idea is that since the personality is using the tv's network to promote their business, the network deserves to share in some of the profits. Tv personalities have the right to refuse to sign a contract with this clause, but they run the risk that the network will not allow them to appear on the show.
How did it come to be?
The "Bethenny Clause" was named after Bethenny Frankel, who was the first tv personality to catch this clause in her contract with Bravo TV for the Real Housewives of New York. She struck out this provision because she instinctually felt that it was wrong, and boy was she glad she did! Since she caught this provision and struck it out of her contract, she was able to retain full ownership and profits of her private brand Skinnygirl. She went from making $7,250 in her first season of RHONY to retaining millions! When she later sold her brand Skinnygirl for $100 million, she did not owe any percentage to Bravo. Bethenny was the last Housewife to reap the benefits of this because once the network realized the mistake, it implemented the "Bethenny Clause" for all tv personalities. Bethenny spoke out about her experience in efforts to encourage others to be smart about the contracts they sign.
We agree with Bethenny: always read your contracts before you sign them! It is an even better idea to have a contract lawyer review your contract so you are aware of exactly what you're getting yourself into. Venustas Law offers contract review services and is always happy to help.