Kate Chastain Jokes About Netflix Skinnygirl Documentary While Roasting Bethenny Frankel’s Allegations of Reality TV’s «Exploitation»

It seems that Bethenny Frankel‘s allegations of reality TV being exploitative don’t have the support of all her fellow Bravo alums.

The former The Real Housewives of New York City star has recently been quite vocal surrounding her feelings toward reality TV and its “exploitation,” especially amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

She has called for reality TV stars to unionize and has posted TikToks entitled “Reality TV Reckoning,” in which she explained that reality TV stars are “the ones that the entertainment industry is going to rely on right now to carry the water and do the heavy lifting.”

However, Below Deck alum Kate Chastain is throwing shade at Frankel’s cries of exploitation, taking to X (the platform previously known as Twitter) on Monday (Aug. 7) and writing, “I can’t wait to watch the Netflix documentary about the exploitation of Skinnygirl.”

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For those unfamiliar with the reference, in 2009, Frankel founded Skinnygirl, a lifestyle brand of low-calorie cocktails and foods like salad dressings and preserves. According to People, in 2011, Frankel sold the Skinnygirl Cocktails branch of the brand to Fortune Brands’ Beam Global (now a part of Suntory), for an estimated $100 million. She even launched The Big Shot with Bethenny on Max in 2021, a show where contestants competed to become Frankel’s second-in-command.

Most of her success is likely due to the fame she garnered from RHONY, of which she starred in eight seasons since its 2008 premiere.

So no, there is no actual Netflix Skinnygirl documentary. This is just Chastain chiding Frankel for her recent comments (even though an “exploitation of Skinnygirl documentary” would certainly be something).

Frankel posted another “Reality Reckoning” yesterday on TikTok, in which she responds to “people who say [she’s] been very successful as a result of this medium.”


I was the darling of this media space. I’ve had an open invitation to come back for millions of dollars & have stayed away because i know the difference between right & wrong… i wouldn’t burn this bridge & many others if it weren’t time. And this isn’t about 1 person’s personal gripe like others have done before. This is about an industry change-a reckoning. And when my time comes you bet your ass i’ll get paid for my work. #realityreckoning #bethennyclause

♬ original sound – Bethenny Frankel

“That is entirely true,” she admitted. However, she noted that “most of the work was done [herself] and [she] certainly [has] taken many, many hits as a result.”

“I’ve been significantly more successful since I left, and there have been hundreds of people who have gone through this machine and not been as successful as I have in all areas of business and philanthropy,” she explained.

She addressed the arguments that people like herself “sign up” for reality TV and therefore “get what they deserve,” citing factors such as “weak people” and “manipulative contracts” to rebut them.

“It’s about an entire sphere and space in entertainment that has gotten away with manipulation and exploitation without compensation,” she said.

Similar to big-time actors on the picket lines in Hollywood, Frankel is fighting for the “little guys” in reality TV. One recent example of the “little guy” in reality TV who has expressed support for Frankel’s sentiments is Love is Blind contestant Nick Thompson, who struggled to find work following his time on the show and is on the verge of homelessness.

Chastain, who recently became a mother, is still in the reality TV sphere. Her new Bravo series Couch Talk with Captain Lee and Kate, in which she joins forces with the former Below Deck captain to talk all things Bravo, premieres on Aug. 14.


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