In November, we reported that the ladies of “Teen Mom” make $60K to $65K per season, which comes out to about $5,000 per episode. We argued that this was chump change in comparison to the alleged $80K Lauren Conrad made per episode in her final days on “The Hills.” But apparently, our numbers may have been waaaay off. Amber Portwood was released from jail yesterday on charges of domestic violence and had to report to a judge. This judge supposedly ordered her to reveal her salary. She said $280,000! Which is about $215K more than we had thought. This has me wondering: WHAT?!?! Are all of the women on the show making this much money, or was Amber able to negotiate a whole lot more? Their salaries are only an issue because financial struggle is one of the major themes of the show and if they’re making $280K a year, they certainly aren’t struggling, or at least, shouldn’t be. Which is wonderful. Except that it would mean that they’ve been essentially lying—or at least playing the part of their old selves—for the cameras. It also brings up the issue of whether Catelynn and Tyler really needed that college fund that was set up for them.
This is really a conundrum. How should MTV compensate these women fairly for participating in one of the network’s most popular shows, without changing the color of the water in the fishbowl that they’re swimming in? Thoughts? [Amy Grindhouse]