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Aug. 13 2009 - 12:21 pm | 1,436 views | 0 recommendations | 5 comments

‘Househusbands’ reality TV star doesn’t like reality of being a TV star

househusbands katherine barclay smith

The Fox Reality Channel has a new series this season that the New York Daily News calls a “twist” on Bravo’s Real Housewives series. Others (myself included) might call it a rip-off, but I forgive Fox its trespass because the show is wildly entertaining.

It features former L.A. Dodger Billy Ashley; aspiring actor Danny Barclay; former “A Different World” star Darryl M. Bell, who’s married to “Cosby Show” actress Tempestt Bledsoe; one-time “Gentleman Bandit” star Charlie Mattera, and Grant Reynolds, husband of “Good Day LA” anchor Jillian Reynolds.

via ‘Real Housewives’ formula gets a twist with ‘Househusbands of Hollywood’.

It premieres this Saturday, but it’s making an early debut on Hulu. I wrote about the show yesterday on Above The Law, because the wife of aspiring actor/househusband Danny Barclay is a corporate attorney. The two fight over whether Danny’s “kegerator” should be kept in the kitchen or in the garage, and when they’re going to start popping out babies. The New York Times tried to figure out who Katherine Barclay was and where she worked but couldn’t do it:

Fox Reality describes Katherine Barclay as a “high-powered attorney.” A check with the California Bar Association turned up no trace of her; a Fox publicist said Ms. Barclay practices under another name, which she would not provide, citing “client sensitivities and upcoming trials.”

via ‘Househusbands of Hollywood’ on Fox Reality – Life With a Constant Honey-Do List – NYTimes.com.

Thanks to Above The Law tipsters and the fact that “Katherine Barclay” is a fellow Duke 2003 grad, I was able to positively ID her. I included her real name and her firm in the story. Fox Reality — and assumedly Katherine Barclay (a.k.a. Katherine Smith of Gibson Dunn) — aren’t happy with me.

househusbands 2I am a journalist! I love scoops! Revealing Katherine’s identity was definitely a scoop. Did part of me feel badly about not falling in line with the wishes of Fox Reality and Katherine? Maybe a small, small part of my little blogger’s soul felt a slight tinge as I clicked “publish,” but c’mon, this is the real “reality” of choosing to star in a Fox series.

I’ve certainly felt anguish before about concealing the identities of attorneys I’ve written about. When we wrote about a young associate who jettisoned his career with an ill-advised “Reply All” e-mail, we left his name out of the story and granted him some privacy. He made a private mistake that went viral, whereas the Barclays actively sought their fame.

The Barclays are crazier than a kegerator in the kitchen if they expect their privacy to be honored in this case. They made the decision to invite cameras into their home and star in a reality TV show. Guess what happens when you do that? You lose all claims on privacy!

We can have your wedding photos, but not your real last name?

We can have your wedding photos, but not your real last name?

Privacy in today’s hyperlinked, hyper-exposed world is easily lost. If you want to lay claim on it, you have to viciously safeguard it. Perhaps by cutting off all access to the Internet and public services and shutting yourself in the prison that is Google’s Opt Out Village. Okay, maybe you don’t have to go to that extreme, but safeguarding your privacy is certainly not accomplished by handing your wedding photos over to Fox.

Katherine’s real identity coming to light was inevitable. But I and Above the Law are now being punished for being the ones to shine the light. The show’s PR person had invited me to submit interview questions to Katherine via e-mail, but when I refused to take Katherine’s real last name and firm out of the Above the Law post, she sent me this message:

Fox Reality Channel has requested that Katherine does not participate in this interview as there are concerns with her last name and law firm being publicized on the Above the Law blog.

Katherine sends her regrets for not being able to participate.

Well, I send my regrets that Katherine and the folks at Fox can’t cope with the reality inherent in the choice to expose your life to the public through starring in a reality television show.

That said, I look forward to episode 2.


2 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 5 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    There’s nothing more loathsome than celebrities demanding complete privacy…nothing, that is, except for reality TV nobodies demanding complete privacy. Katherine Smith/Barclay’s claims of a highly sensitive job don’t cut it, either. She’s a corporate lawyer, not an FBI agent.

    • collapse expand

      If you phrase it as “selling out” to Reality TV, it should get rid of all illusion of maintaining any privacy or decency after the cameras start rolling and the checks come in. “Selling out” is an all-or-nothing preposition, after all, and Reality TV demands no less, so price accordingly.

      Still, hilarious in the wikipedia/facebook era that anybody can expect to be on TV and remain anonymous. Nobody ever heard of the “Dog Poop Girl” in Korea a few years ago? Talk about a national witch hunt…

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    How can you go on a Reality show but still want to keep your identity a secret?

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    About Me

    I am a writer, reporter, editor and blogger. I'm an editor at Above The Law, where I blog about lawyers, judges, law firms and the legal industry. Here at True/Slant, I write about our changing notions of privacy.

    If you have story ideas or tips, e-mail me at kashhill@trueslant.com. I've hung out in quite a few newsrooms over the last few years. Currently, I can be found in Breaking Media's Nolita office. In the past, I've been found in midtown Manhattan at The Week Magazine, in Hong Kong at the International Herald Tribune, and in D.C. at the National Press Foundation and the Washington Examiner.

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    What I'm Up To

    • Staying Above The Law


      Over at Above The Law, I write about lawyers, law firms, judges and the legal industry.

      We especially like “colorful news.” (Yes, that’s a euphemism for gossip.)

      Check out the site here and my stuff here.


    • Writing with real ink

      While most of my writing occurs online at Above The Law and True/Slant, I do occasionally venture into the world of print.  These are some of the magazines and newspapers that I’ve written for:

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      Washingtonian Magazine

      Time Out New York

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      washingtonian issue for tsThe latest (and longest) “real ink” project: the cover story for Washingtonian Magazine’s December issue.

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