Meanwhile, in France

It\’s a tough life being a reality TV contestant in France. Those scantily clad figures slaving away on sun-toasted beaches and expending sweat and tears around luxury swimming pools might look as if they are having fun – mais non.

In fact, it is extremely hard labour for which they deserve to be paid handsomely, France\’s highest appeal court has decided. And the going rate for this relentless toil at the coal face of light entertainment?: €1,400 (£1,230) a day, slightly more than the French monthly minimum wage.

The court has declared the contestants must be treated as salaried staff, paid a fixed wage plus social charges and overtime and be allowed a 35-hour working week.

Bonkers, entirely bonkers.

You, as an adult, are simply too dim to be able to make up your own mind. A shot at fame and fortune in return for a few weeks at the beach?

No, you may not make that choice for yourself.

And we\’re in a political union with this country. Can we leave yet?

7 thoughts on “Meanwhile, in France”

  1. Your assumption is that this is done to reward the participants. Surely an alternative explanation is more plausible.

    Reality TV is cheap TV. By forcing the TV production companies to pay an excessive wage, they stop it being cheap. Consequently they discourage reality TV shows from being made.

  2. “You, as an adult, are simply too dim to be able to make up your own mind. A shot at fame and fortune in return for a few weeks at the beach?”
    Actually some of the participants are that dim – I have been forced to see some of big brother.

  3. JuliaM

    My point exactly.

    In my office they are debating whether “The Only Way Is Essex” is reality TV or a cheap soap. I started from the assumption that they were discussing some sign at Liverpool Street Station. As I learnt more I cared less.

  4. So should people who do volunteer work for charity sue the charity over their ‘slavery’?

    And even allowing that it is right and proper to pay reality TV contestants, how did they determine the 20x minimum wage multiplier?

  5. When Big Brother ran in Australia, they paid the contestants as actors (nowhere near this much). But that was to get them under contract to be able to control their media appearances, ensure they came back for final episodes, attend promotional events, and so on.

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