Child beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson, better known by her nickname "Honey Boo Boo Child" (which she gave herself), became an Internet sensation after appearing on the January season premiere of the TLC show "Toddlers & Tiaras."
Thompson's fame grew so quickly that TLC even launched a spinoff show, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," centering around Thompson and her family, but according to new reports, the family may not be making as big of a payoff as you might expect.
The sassy 7-year-old, who has said on camera that she enjoys competing in pageants solely for the prize money, once proudly declared, "A dollar makes me holler, Honey Boo Boo!" But sources seem divided over exactly how much the young reality star is currently hollering. According to The Hollywood Reporter, which has called the show a "crime against humanity," the entire family of six makes between $2 ,000 and $4,000 per episode. That would amount to $40,000 in total for the entire season of the spinoff, plus a small possible "location fee;" a relative pittance by the standards of popular reality television shows.
According to The Huffington Post, similar family-centric reality TV shows like "Jon & Kate Plus 8," along with Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar's show "18 Kids and Counting," raked in much higher salaries for their stars. In an interview with Larry King in 2009, Jon Gosselin said that he and his wife Kate made $22,500 per episode of their show, while the Duggar family are believed to make between $25,000 and $40,000 per episode.
But in an interview with TMZ, Alana's mother June, whose show nickname is "the coupon queen," laughed off that number, insinuating that the entire Thompson family collectively makes much more than that. However, June declined to offer a more accurate figure. Instead, she downplayed their earnings from the show, saying, "We're making memories to last a lifetime," - a far cry from the money-obsessed personas hyped by the show's producers and Honey Boo Boo herself.
It's not the first time that the Thompson family has come under the spotlight for financial reasons. In January of 2008 June Thompson, who has been widely criticized for her parenting methods, was arrested for theft and contempt of court in a case related to child support, reported the Daily Mail.
In March, child services arrived at the family's home to inspect living conditions after Alana was featured on television drinking a concoction she calls her special "Go-Go juice", allegedly mixed with an energy drink and another caffeinated beverage.