Why You Never See Justin Hartley or Tarek El Moussa on ‘Selling Sunset’

TheWrap asked executive producer Adam Divello if he reached out to the “This Is Us” star for his side of the divorce story

Last Updated: August 8, 2020 @ 12:18 PM

Thanks to the power of Netflix’s reach, the women of “Selling Sunset” are getting pretty famous. While two of their significant others beat them to celebrity status, three seasons into the real-estate reality show, we’ve yet to see those men on screen. But Justin Hartley and Tarek El Moussa are mentioned so much they might as well be honorary cast members.

That goose-egg tally of guest appearances may change in the case of HGTV star El Moussa, “Selling Sunset” executive producer Adam DiVello teased to TheWrap ahead of his Season 3 premiere — but it seems highly unlikely for Chrishell Stause’s now ex-husband Hartley.

The plot of “Selling Sunset” Season 3, now on Netflix, revolves around two major life moments — and both involve matrimony. First (chronologically), comes Chrishell’s shocking (in her words, but we suppose also to fans) divorce from “This Is Us” star Hartley, and second, Christine Quinn’s over-the-top wedding to tech entrepreneur Christian Richard.

Over the course of the latest eight-episode arc, Stause tells her “Selling Sunset” co-stars — and viewers — that Hartley informed her via a text message that he had filed for divorce. She says Hartley’s wishes to end their marriage came out of nowhere. As you might expect from a reality series, this one-sided assertion perfectly divided the cast into two halves: The “good girls,” like Mary and Amanza, who are friendly with Stause, rushed to her side armed with not-so-kind words for Hartley and his chosen bad-news delivery method. Behind Stause’s back, the “bad guys,” like Christine and Davina, questioned her ignorance about the marriage ending.

Since Hartley is a public figure who does not appear on the show but is sure maligned on it this season, TheWrap asked DiVello if he reached out to Hartley with an offer to tell his side of the story. Journalists gonna journalist, we guess.

“To be honest with you, no, because he was never able to be on our show in the first place,” DiVello said. “We (previously) reached out to his people and the network that he’s on and everything, trying to get him to be on our show, because I know [Chrishell] really wanted him to be on it. And they were newlyweds and they were living a new life and had just bought a new house. You know, she had a big, huge, fun part of her life happening that she couldn’t show on TV, on the show. So I think she was bummed out about that, I think we all were. But I think just because of the contracts, or whatever the case may be, that he wasn’t allowed to be on our show. So it wasn’t even something we thought about, honestly, because we never had access to him in the first place.”

TheWrap reached out to Hartley’s personal reps and to NBC to question if his contract for “This Is Us” precludes him from appearing on another network’s show, like a “Selling Sunset,” though we did not receive a response.

For a show that has showcased so many Hollywood and major life events (earlier, the series heavily focused on Mary’s wedding), Hartley’s and El Moussa’s on-camera absences have been kind of glaring.

We asked DiVello if he is editing out those guys, or if they simply don’t show up where they know “Selling Sunset” is taping.

“We just take these situations as it goes. If it’s an event they want to show up to and their girlfriends, their wives want them to be there and they don’t want to be on camera, certainly we respect them and just not shoot them,” DiVello said. “We just keep them off-camera. And we kind of just tell the camera people to just try not to get them in the frames and we’ll edit around them. We just take it case by case.”

“In the case of Christine’s wedding, I think Tarek came by at some point, I think it was even after dinner, and just like hung out with her for a while because they wanted to hang out and have some fun,” he said.

TheWrap also reached out to HGTV to ask if El Moussa’s contract for series like “Flip or Flop” and “Flipping 101” precludes him from appearing on “Selling Sunset,” though we did not receive a response.

While the Stause-Hartley situation provides the show’s bummer look at celebrity marriage, the optimism of new (tabloid) love comes courtesy of El Moussa and “Selling Sunset’s” Heather Rae Young.

Young, who spends pretty much all of Season 3 complaining about not having a ring on her finger, is set to appear on an upcoming episode of Tarek’s HGTV series “Flipping 101.” Now that she got that rock, will DiVello return the favor with a guest spot — or possibly recurring — for El Moussa?

We specially asked DiVello if the Heather-Tarek engagement will be the centerpiece for a possible fourth season, and if he already has footage in the can to celebrate the big moment and potentially huge storyline.

“We certainly don’t want to miss things when we’re [on production hiatus], so we try to get as big of events as we can,” DiVello responded.

“Selling Sunset” Season 3 is now available on Netflix.