The cast of “Storage Wars” loves to battle over abandoned storage units on camera, but it appears most of the drama associated with the hit A&E reality-television series has been happening behind-the-scenes lately. With the show in the midst of its 2015 season, TMZ reported one of its longtime stars, Darrell Sheets, has threatened to leave the program because of a salary-related dispute.
Sources told TMZ Darrell is reportedly up in arms over the network’s alleged decision to cut his salary in half. While Darrell used to secure roughly $30,000 per episode for the 30-minute series, insiders close to the reality-TV star claimed A&E is planning to pay him $15,000 per installment during the new season.
In addition, Darrell’s appearances on the show will reportedly be trimmed: He is scheduled to appear in just four of the program’s next 26 episodes.
Rumor has it Darrell thinks A&E’s casting shake-up is the network’s attempt to phase him out so it can bring in newer and more affordable talent. “Our Sheets sources say he’s willing to walk, because he’s gotten offers to do other TV shows,” TMZ reported.
As for A&E’s comment, it’s saying it will move forward with the new season of “Storage Wars,” with or without him.
While Darrell has yet to speak out about the rumors, he has been retweeting a fair share of fans’ posts about his situation. If Darrell’s retweets are any indication, many “Storage Wars” viewers are upset about the potential departures of the star and his son Brandon Sheets. A select few seem to believe the network is favoring fellow original storage hunter Dave Hester over Darrell.
â€” Bobby (@Bobby6740) March 5, 2015
â€” Its almost time @Jen (@aetv_) March 5, 2015
â€” Bruce (@Bruce412) March 5, 2015
â€” Nilo Corleone (@DaniloNavarro85) March 6, 2015
Viewers will remember that Dave reprised his villainous role on the show in August 2014 after losing to the network in a highly publicized -- and costly -- lawsuit. Recent episodes summaries do not list Dave as a recurring cast member.
This isn’t the first time Darrell has gone head-to-head with A&E over a money-related issue. In 2013, Radar Online reported that Darrell and two of his other original co-stars, auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson, were at odds with the network after being disallowed from appearing in six episodes of the series. Insiders revealed the network was looking to hire “cheaper talent” to replace the trio.
“It seems as if they’re going after some of the higher-paid cast members and, meanwhile, they’re expanding the franchise,” said a source.
“Storage Wars” is shown on A&E Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT.