Is 'Bling Empire: New York' scripted, or is the drama real?

'When I film and when I don’t film, I’m the same,' Dorothy Wang revealed in a new interview

Is 'Bling Empire: New York' scripted? Pictured: Richard Chang, Vika, Guest Star, Nam Laks from episode 01 of 'Bling Empire: New York'
(Image credit: Netflix)

Is Bling Empire: New York scripted, or is all the glitz and drama authentic? It wouldn't be the first time a Netflix reality show has been questioned. (Remember when everyone was asking if Too Hot To Handle was scripted?) 

By now, you've heard about the Bling Empire spin-off, and have likely caught an episode or two (if not the entire debut season, which premiered on Friday, January 20). The original series followed a cast of wealthy Asian-Americans in California, but now, we've ventured cross-country to New York with O.G. Bling Empire star Dorothy Wang leading the pack of elite socialites. 

She's one of nine Bling Empire: New York cast members, which also includes fashionista Tina Leung, model Vikka Abbyaeva, and crazy-wealthy couple Stephen and Deborah Hung, among others. Wang knew some peers (like Leung) going in, but she was introduced to the others upon signing up for the show. Regardless, now that the debut season has officially hit screens, Wang feels as though her move to Manhattan was the right one. 

"Everything’s aligning and everything feels good. I think I’m with the right people. I think who you surround yourself with really matters," she revealed to Interview

But even if she's surrounding herself with the right people, are those ups and downs real...or slightly fabricated?

Is 'Bling Empire: New York' scripted?

Sure, some moments might feel inauthentic, but it appears that Bling Empire: New York is not scripted. There hasn't been a source confirming or denying whether or not the cast is pushed into certain situations while filming. However, judging from cast Q&As, it would appear that the events that have unfolded on screen are legitimate. In another admission to Interview, Wang insists she's the same person, regardless of whether or not she's with a camera crew. 

"When I film and when I don’t film, I’m the same. I’m still doing the same things, it’s just there’s a camera there. It’s not a huge change," she said. 

But the same can't be said about her time on another reality show, the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills on E!

"I went back and watched Rich Kids, then I watched the first episode of Bling Empire: New York. It was so refreshing to watch you be yourself. Reality TV has changed so much and people engineer their personalities for television," Wang further stated. 

When we look back at her time on the original Bling Empire in Beverly Hills, we had similar concerns about fact versus fiction, but Wang's co-star Kevin Kreider, ironically enough in an interview for E!, told viewers that everything he had experienced on the reality show was real.

"I know for what I went through, that was so real," he told the outlet. "I even talked to the producers, and I said, 'Does this happen often in reality?' They said they pray for stuff like this because it's gold. It's real."

We have to believe that the spin-off is following the same format as its predecessor, though we wouldn't be surprised if editors and producers took a few liberties here and there. (Hey, it's "reality" TV, after all.) As of now, it's safe to assume that the events that have transpired are not a story of fiction, though if we hear otherwise, you'll be sure to get the scoop. 

Either way, we'll take one for the team and admit that we're pretty entertained!

The first season of Bling Empire: New York is available to stream on Netflix.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.