Does the Cast of ’60 Days In’ Get Paid for the Show?

It’s one of the most buzzworthy shows around, but 60 Days In is even more controversial than it would have you believe. With rumors of management deception and misdirection, as well as the shocking onscreen interactions, there’s a lot to know about 60 Days In.

What is ’60 Days In’ about?

The reality docu-series debuted on the A&E channel in March 2016, and in the years since, has earned a loyal following of fans. The premise is simple enough- a group of seven volunteers is sent to live amongst the general population prisoners incarcerated in Indiana’s Clark County Jail in order to reveal flaws in the prison system. At the time of its premiere, audiences were told that no one in the jail, from the inmates to the guards, realized what was actually going on. All the fake inmates were given fabricated criminal backgrounds and a strict code of conduct to follow, including “safe words” to use in case they ever got too uncomfortable.

The goings-on inside the prison was captured through the strategic use of hidden cameras. While the show was an immediate hit for A&E, the show, now in its fifth season, has often come under fire for various reasons. The biggest problem that many have with the show is the overall authenticity, and whether or not 60 Days In can truly consider itself a docu-series.

Is ’60 Days In’ fake?

While the cast of 60 Days In is paid for their work, a recent article revealed that they likely aren’t getting paid much. One estimate placed the cast’s salary per show at around $3,000. On a positive note, part of the deal that A&E made with the Clark County Jail was that the money being paid out for the show being filmed there would be put towards new equipment and upgrades for the facility.

Rob Holcomb, a cast member from the first season, has gone on to speak quite freely about the show and how many elements are designed to be deceptive to audiences. Holcomb revealed in an interview that while many of the inmates at the Clark County Jail were portrayed in the show to be “animals” and “terrible people,” the reality of the situation is that many of them were good people in bad situations. Other critics have pointed out the same thing, saying that the show misrepresents a good portion of the prison population. Whether the misrepresentation is deliberate on the part of the showrunners or an unfortunate happenstance of editing is also a hotly debated topic among those who critique 60 Days In.

Reviews of ’60 Days In’

'60 Days In'
’60 Days In’ | via 60 Days In on A&E

Critics have also taken issue with the fact that while the show touts itself as a docu-series, it relies on heavy editing in order to create dramatic tension, and is not true documentary-style television. Not only is the editing problematic for many people, but apparently the repeated use of certain violent scenes within the same episode also serves to undermine the show’s authenticity.

While 60 Days In has definitely earned its fair share of negative press over the years, there are many viewers who enjoy the show. Various Metacritic reviews point out that while the show is flawed, and certainly over-dramatized at times, it paints a picture of the many issues that are present within the prison system, including overcrowding and health concerns.

Want to catch up on 60 Days In? Tune in to A&E, where the fifth season is currently streaming. For more of the hottest reality TV news, check out our list of the ‘10 Most Hated Reality TV Shows Ever‘¬†and check in daily with The Cheat Sheet for all the biggest entertainment stories.