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September 26, 2023 17 mins

As the Hollywood writer’s strike prepares to come to an end, another key part of the entertainment industry is weighing up industrial action. 

Reality TV has become the default option for plugging programming gaps caused by strike action. Now cast and crew members are starting to shine a light on how they are treated behind the scenes, and the level of compensation offered for turning their personal lives into entertainment fodder. 

Several recent examples – both locally and overseas – have also raised questions about what protections are in place to keep contestants safe.  

Today on The Front Page, Damien is joined by Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the UK’s University of Aston, Helen Wood. She has written extensively about reality TV, and served as a parliamentary advisor for an inquiry into the industry.

Follow The Front Page on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can read more about this and other stories in the New Zealand Herald, online at, or tune in to news bulletins across the NZME network.

Host: Damien Ventuto
Producer: Shaun D Wilson
Executive Producer: Ethan Sills

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