Bethenny Frankel is ‘abrasive,’ ‘secretly despised’ by contestants on her reality show


Bethenny Frankel has a reality show on HBO Max called The Big Shot with Bethenny, the entire series is available now. It’s a competition show in the vein of The Apprentice in which people compete to work as the VP of Operations for Bethenny’s company. I’m sure some of you have watched it and will have more insight into this story, which I appreciate. I’m just going by In Touch’s writeup and the one episode I saw. All of this rings true, especially given what I know about Bethenny. They say that the contestants secretly despise Bethenny and that “she comes across as a horrible boss.”

“All the contestants on [Bethenny's] new HBO Max series are doing backflips to impress her, but it’s never enough, and they secretly despise her,” a source tells In Touch. (A rep for Bethenny denies the story.) On the show, the next generation of business moguls compete for a chance to be second-in-command to the Skinnygirl founder, 50. “She’s abrasive. One of the contestants, DJ Nicole Rose, left in tears and said Bethenny was either yelling at her every 20 minutes or making fun of her,” adds the source. “The show may be a showcase for Bethenny and Skinnygirl, but it doesn’t make you like her. She comes across as a horrible boss.”

[From In Touch, print edition, June 14, 2021]

Given the nature of reality shows, Bethenny is surely being condensed down to her worst moments, which she deserves. I watched episode three and everyone was trying to suck up to Bethenny and figure out what she wanted. She was incredibly demanding and rude to contestants and they were afraid to question her. She practically told them that they needed to anticipate her needs instead of her having ask for things. She criticized one person for being too assertive and another for being too nice and accommodating.

It bothers me that HBO Max is airing this show when it’s so similar to The Apprentice. That whole concept should have been put to pasture, but American reality shows are rarely humane or accurate. It’s not surprising at all that Bethenny is abrasive, that she’s emotionally manipulative to contestants, and that this showcases that. I would say that this doesn’t have consequences beyond this series, but Trump went on to be the worst President in history and to cause countless suffering and death. Bad things happen when narcissistic A-holes running companies are given media platforms.

Highlight this paragraph for spoiler. In the episode I watched, Bethenny kicked off the only Black person left on the show, a man, and told him he could have a lower personal assistant job instead of continuing in the competition for a place as VP.

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24 Responses to “Bethenny Frankel is ‘abrasive,’ ‘secretly despised’ by contestants on her reality show”

  1. MsIam says:

    Bethenny awful? Surprise! But that’s part of her brand, I wouldn’t be shocked if she put this out there herself to drum up interest. I’d rather watch hair grow then sit through her screeching again.

  2. ClaireB says:

    I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    No one’s surprised by this.

  4. Holly says:

    She clearly has a personality disorder. I remember when she met Erika on RHOBC, Erika said something that stuck with me: “a big dog that just has to piss on everything”. I’ve only seen her on camera twice–that episode of RHOBC and the episode of RHONY with that island trip where they all decide Kelly is a nutjob. But her behavior had the classic hallmarks of a personality disorder–narcissism, emotional deregulation, control issues. Her father had just died and yet she felt the need to fulfill some kind of inner narrative/personal fantasy about her own skills as a cook or whatever by insisting on cooking dinner when 1. no one asked or cared 2. there were chefs on-site (she didn’t even look happy or like she was having fun, but rather, fulfilling a chore she’d assigned herself in her own head. Control. Issues.) She seems insufferable to be around.

    • sweetpea says:

      YES!!!! thank you. I absolutely agree. Bethenny has NPD – narcissistic personality disorder. She has zero empathy. She is an absolute bully.. If you watch, she repeats herself louder and louder. She is in fact, very quick and smart. BUT People with NPD believe they are smarter than anyone else and ultimately destroy most relationships. She really can not keep a relationship going.

  5. ThatgirlThere says:

    She’s such a hateful, miserable monster. The way she’s attacked Duchess Meghan over these past years makes me dislike her even more and hope for her to fall into irrelevance. Jealous ole crow.

  6. pottymouth pup says:

    she’s an executive producer on the show so I’m sure she has a big say in how she’s edited, which means she’s so out of touch she probably thinks the show is a glowing example of her business acumen & what she thinks being a great boss is

  7. GRUEY says:

    I was surprised. Surprised that there’s enough of an audience for this crap and that HBO decided to make it. Seriously, people still want to watch this lame ass heffa? She seems so passe to me.

    Speaking of HBOmax properties, they ever gonna air that RF cartoon or did they figure out it’s radioactive?

  8. Amelie says:

    Why anyone would want to work for a Real Housewife anyways? Yes, I know, plenty of people do reality TV to boost their social media and their own hustle but I would never want to subject myself to reality TV to do it. Bethenny sounds like my old boss who basically wanted me to anticipate me what she wanted me to do and who got huffy if I asked too many questions. It was a toxic situation and I ended up leaving that role after a year because it destroyed my mental health.

    • Holland S says:

      I always found the premise of these “apprentice” type shows weird because no one has the passion or loyalty to their big corporation anymore. People work (mostly) because they have to, not because they believe in the founder of the company.

      I’m not taking a job so that I can be the ultimate Bethenny fan girl and it’s silly to think that anyone would. Corporations have proved that we are all dispensable, so a lot of people want to side hustle/ entrepreneurship.

      Also, do jobs train anymore? It seems like training is informal learning from the dysfunctional, yet effective person senior to you.

  9. Holland S says:

    Bethenny is a prime example of the “either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain” trope.

  10. SusanRagain says:

    She grates on my nerves.
    Her and Chrissy Teigen + every Kardashian/Jenner.

  11. Ohreally says:

    She gives me Jill at her height of grandiosity on RHONYC right before they ganged up and ran her off mixed with a less wealthy and sub-class Leona Helmsley with a smidge of perpetual sadness masked as confidence rolled up in massive levels of obnoxious. She’s basic and fighting for the right to remain that way.

  12. Porsha says:

    That last photo, she looks like an old hooker posing on a dodgy site, sorry not mean’t to offend but she does

    • My3cents says:

      It looks like someone photoshopped the head of a 70 year old on a body of a 30 year old, ughh scary.

      • AMA1977 says:

        I disagree, saggy underboob doesn’t scream “30′s” to me. She’s thin, but not youthful. And before anyone comes for me for body-shaming, most women will have some degree of sagging after they hit 35-40 or so (yours truly included, after 44 years on the planet and nursing two babies) and it’s NBD, but choosing to show it off is…a choice. Not one I would make. It’s not the most attractive area for a middle-aged woman to display.

        When I was expecting my second (nine years ago), we had narrowed down names to Bethany or the name we went with, and my mom said, “please don’t name her Bethany, it reminds me of that awful woman on Bravo” and mom is NOT a real housewives fan/consumer, so that should indicate the impression she gives to the general population. Hateful and mean.

  13. Lena says:

    First time I’ve heard of this reality show. It doesn’t seem to be getting much interest in the press which it shouldn’t. I can’t believe she’s got enough of a fan base that this would get the green light. I can see when she got that show about getting married/having a kid but that’s before everyone wised up on what she is.

  14. LWT00 says:

    I saw two episodes. She’s awful, changeable like the sea and would be a horrible boss. She sets them up to fail every time.

  15. Sumodo1 says:

    Bethenny and her “look at me, look at MEEEE” constant urgency makes me want to slam a door in her face. The “winner” of the show should do that!”

  16. KNy says:

    Bethenny was on The Apprentice (the Martha Stewart one, which I actually watched) and was her horrible mean self there. This is not a character she plays up for the camera. She is just plain unlikable.

  17. Midge says:

    Like all narcissists, she is deeply insecure and thin-skinned. So she overcompensates. She is abrasive because it’s the “I reject you before you can reject me” defense mechanism. I’ll never understand how she keeps getting work. I can’t even look at photos of her without wanting to vom. And no, she’s not smart, she’s manipulative and has no empathy or ethics. There is a difference. She would literally do anything for fame and money.

  18. CJ says:

    Just from a business POV (never mind all the other reasons why she/this is not good) – it sounds like an awful way to hire a VP.

    Surely you want someone as the VP who can speak truth to power, help shape the company, and have trust and partnership with the CEO/equivalent. Coming in to the role through a televised reality show where you’re jumping through hoops creates an awful power imbalance right from the start and I can’t see how that could be overcome when the ‘winner’ is in position.

    Bonkers.

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