Here’s Why The Sister Wives’ Kids Likely Never Saw A Penny From TLC

The Brown kids from Sister Wives likely haven't received a paycheck from TLC, but there's a simple explanation as to why not.

  •  The Brown children, who appear on the show Sister Wives, do not receive compensation for their participation in the program.
  •  The children have limited airtime on the show, and updates about them are usually shared through their parents or brief snippets.
  •  Child labor laws and regulations that protect child actors do not apply to reality television programs, so there is no legal obligation for parents to pay their children for their participation in reality shows.

In recent decades, the concept of reality television has taken over TV. Instead of just sitcoms and soap operas, audiences can now tune in to bear witness to people’s actual lives through different series. The TLC channel is home to many of these shows, including the top-rated Sister Wives program.

Throughout the years, fans have seen the family grow in many different ways. There have been cross-country moves, new babies, divorces, and the enjoyment of everyday life with such a large family. One curiosity that remains is how the pay is structured. With such a significant paycheck from the TLC corporation, how much do the kids pocket, if any?

There Are 18 Brown Kids Who Appear On The Sister Wives

via TLC

Between his four wives, Kody Brown is the father to 18 children. While it hasn’t been verified that the dad of many is done adding to his brood, the option isn’t off the table. In past episodes, Robyn Brown has hinted that she wants to have another child with the family patriarch. However, there hasn’t been mention of this desire in the newest seasons.

The television network TLC has pursued many different avenues when it comes to representing families that differ from the norm. In addition to the Sister Wives show, audiences have seen programs about large families like the Duggars, multiple shows that center around life as little people such as Little People, Big World, and The Little Couple, and many series that speak to niche medical topics like Dr. Pimple Popper, My 600 Pound Life, and Unexpected.

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While the Sister Wives show centers around the plural family and how they conduct themselves with such unique needs, it’s likely that the younger family members have never profited off of the series despite being part of its production.

The Brown Kids Don’t Appear In Every Episode Of Sister Wives

Kody Brown, his wives from Sister wives arriving at the opening night of 'Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth - Live On Stage' at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV
Via Instar

Throughout the show’s many seasons, the Brown children have grown up and dispersed across the country. Many have gone off to college or gotten married, and some have children of their own. Those reasons form a logical conclusion as to why the kids aren’t shown as much on the show. However, they actually weren’t consistently in episodes before, either.

While the kids aren’t purposely left out of the show, the focus isn’t on following them around. Additionally, there are so many of them that spreading appearances out among them all would still result in limited air time per child.

There are legal protections in place for child actors through labor laws and the Coogan regulations that require 15% of the child’s earnings to be set aside in a trust for them to access when they reach 18 years old.

Unfortunately, those rules don’t apply to reality television programs or influencer families. Therefore, there are no legal obligations for parents to pay their children from the earnings that come from starring in videos or television shows when it comes to reality programs.

Several have had elaborate weddings, most of the children have gone on to college, and multiple family vacations have been shown throughout the seasons.

Not Being Paid As Kids Is Common In Reality TV

Sister Wives cast

Throughout the years that the television series has been on the air, there have been various contract negotiations, which is typical with any show. Fans have seen the wives move on to different career paths in addition to taking part in the reality series, which is likely due to the decrease in earnings that the family has received.

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