How much reality stars get paid for their appearances on shows can vary drastically, but the Life After Lockup stars may be earning more than $30,000 per season.
Reality television stars, like the couples who appear on We TV’s hit Love After Lockup franchise, have to put it all on the line to keep their shows entertaining.
And while this is certainly always intriguing to watch (the spin-off Life After Lockup is heading into its fourth season on air after all), there are always questions about whether these stars are being compensated fairly for the work that they put into making these shows so irresistibly dramatic.
What the contract says
While we are not quite sure what the stars of the Love After Lockup spin-off series, Life After Lockup, get paid to appear on the show, Starcasm.com reportedly has some insider-information about what the stars of the original show got paid.
It is thus fair to assume that the agreement would be similar for any of the Love After Lockup spin-offs.
According to these documents, the Love After Lockup stars reportedly receive $2,000 per episode. But the real kicker is that the stars of the series reportedly earn a $250 per day bonus if they agree to return for any post-season special episodes.
How much the cast of Life After Lockup get paid per season
Not every couple featured in Love After Lockup survives long enough to make it back onto the show’s spin-off series.
But given that we know more or less what the cast members that do make it to the spin-off make per episode, it just takes a simple calculation to figure out how much they may be taking home at the end of every season:
|Compensation per episode
|Episodes in a season
|Compensation per season
Though it is important to note that most couples are not shown in every single episode of a Life After Lockup season, so your favorite stars may be earning slightly less than $30,000 per season.
How does this compare to other reality television shows?
Pay transparency has always been a tricky subject for Hollywood stars to broach, and unfortunately, it is no easier for reality television stars.
The only thing that we really know for sure, is that the payments that reality television stars receive for their appearances on these shows vary drastically from one network – and from one show – to the next.
For instance, it is estimated that Kim Kardashian made about $4.5 million on a single season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
However, the stars of TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé are only rumored to make between $1,000 and $1,500 per episode.
And in the Real Housewives Franchise, cast members are reportedly compensated differently depending on their relative fame and they can make anywhere between $500,000 and $2.8 million per season.
Is it true that the convicts do not get paid for the show?
If you have kept up with all of the Love After Lockup drama that happens when the cameras have stopped rolling, you will know that there is a rumor floating around the internet that only the non-convict half of each Love After Lockup couple get paid to appear on the show.
Love After Lockup’s James Cristia seemingly confirmed this in an old Reddit thread about the show a few years ago (stating that the so-called ‘Son of Sam laws’ would prohibit such payment), but this has never been confirmed.
Love After Lockup changes the cast’s lives in other ways
It is a dream for many people to star on a reality television show. But as with all things glitz and glamour, the members of the Love After Lockup franchise have revealed that starring on the show (and airing all of their dirty laundry in front of the cameras) is not all it is cracked up to be.
Lacey Whitlow, one of the cast members who appeared both in the original Love After Lockup and the Life After Lockup spin-off opened up about the downsides of her newfound reality television fame in a 2021 interview with Monsters & Critics.
According to Whitlow, she has encountered many “mixed emotions” from both friends and strangers since starring in the show. Whitlow claimed she has even had some people tell her that she is an “awful person”.
Moreover, Andrea Edwards, who has become a staple of the Love After Lockup franchise, also shared her struggles with ScreenRant in a 2020 interview, stating that it was “really hard and uncomfortable” talking to her friends and family after filming for the show.