Spontaneity is a Luxury They Can't Afford

Some people may be under the impression that the cameras just tag along with the family as they go about their normal day, "hoping" to capture enough footage, and the right kind of footage, to be able to piece together a coherent episode.

That is simply not how episodes happen on this show anymore -- there is a theme and a vision which dictate every detail of the outing. It is not an outing for its own sake, but an outing for the specific purpose of getting specific footage. That the children manage to have any fun at all is because they are children who will naturally find fun where they can.

Take the most recent outing aired, the "Day With Thomas" event at Strasburg Railroad. This was just another job assignment to everyone involved. So many factors go into an outing for them -- factors that don't exist for "normal" family outings and factors that cramp their style tremendously. Spontaneity is a luxury they can't afford when the clock is ticking.

There is always the camera crew -- hired personnel on the clock while the Gosselins are on their outings. They have a schedule and an agenda that often supercedes the Gosselins's needs or desires. The outing can't start until the camera crew is ready. Once they arrive at their destination, the children must wait in the car until the crew is ready to start filming their arrival. Then more waiting, as the next scenes need to be prepped, set up, and shot. And then re-prepped, re-set-up, and re-shot when it didn't "go right" the first time for any number of reasons.

Then when the crew decides they need to stop shooting at one particular place and move on to the next, that's what happens. Not before, not after. Only when the crew is ready, regardless of whether the children have been ready for ages or would like to stay longer but can't. The family members are simply the principal characters to be moved around and encouraged to do/say things... or discouraged as the case may be.

The family is constantly receiving instructions from the crew, being navigated by them, being steered into and out of scenes by them, etc... hence we see impatient parents jerking them by the arm, hurrying them along, avoiding interference from bystanders, etc. Then the family has to wait while the camera crew clears out the next area for filming and gets ready to shoot the next "arrival" footage.

Oh, and don't forget Kate's narcissistic obsession with the children looking like perfect little dolls on display, so there is the constant harping on the children to keep clean, to avoid any activity with the potential for getting "messy" lest Kate hyperventilate or have to sequester herself away from it all, etc.

Is it any wonder why the children glean so much less "fun" from these outings than we would otherwise expect? Why they often seem inexplicably irritable and unduly frazzled? At this rate, they will be ready for permanent retirement from the working world before they are even into their teens.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree with this post. Yes, the Gosselin family can't just pick up and go for the most part when they are being filmed. But that was a choice the family made when they agreed to do the show. I'm sure...or at least I would hope...that Jon and Kate do some spontaneous things with the children when there are no cameras running, like going to the park, taking a walk, or whatever. As long as there is a TV show the children are not going to have that ability to go and be free. They're always going to be getting direction.

Good thing or bad thing? Not my choice to make for that family. I'd hate it but that is me. Jon and Kate made the decision for their family. I just hope that when the cameras aren't around the children can have a bit more normalcy.

Anonymous said...

It's a TV show. Rachel Ray's 30 minute meal show takes Food Network over 9 hours to tape. 30min meal my a$$.

Serena said...

But that was a choice the family made when they agreed to do the show. I'm sure...or at least I would hope...that Jon and Kate do some spontaneous things with the children when there are no cameras running, like going to the park, taking a walk, or whatever.

There is precious little down time for this family. The twins are in school full-time 9 months out of the year. The cameras are there filming 3-4 days per week, every week, year round. Then once or twice a month the parents take off for several days for a speaking engagement.

Good thing or bad thing?

Child exploitation is never a "good thing". This sort of crap would be highly illegal if the laws that currently protect children in the Scripted TV industry also protected children in the Reality TV industry.

Long, hard battles were fought to bring that protection to those children... the Gosselin children and all children in Reality TV are no less deserving of that protection.

Serena said...

It's a TV show. Rachel Ray's 30 minute meal show takes Food Network over 9 hours to tape.

And that is with one professional adult. Try getting an episode filmed using ten non-professionals, eight of them being very young children.

laurie said...

Serena, how do we know this is how this particular show is shot? I really have NO clue as to the way these shows are filmed. I'm simply curious. Are insiders giving this information? Or is it speculation? Like I said, I've NO idea how a show gets the bulk of what it does.

I would hope that the crew would "want" or "desire" the children to have some sort of "fun" or "spontaneity" when filming an episode and not make it all work and no play.

It burns me up to think all that waiting goes on, which I know it does (we had a film -- Elizabethtown -- filmed on our street, LOTS of waiting for the actors and crew)...BUT... I would hope that Kate with all her time-sensitive-obsessions would keep things moving rather than making her kids wait and do nothing while waiting.

Diedra said...

My favorite part of the train episode is when they were in the smaller train. Kate is trying to sit with someone and none of the children want to sit with her. She says 'Great no one wants to sit with me!' Finally she forces Maddy to let her sit across from her. Wonder why? I also observed that when Kate yells at the children or John it's ok. But let John yell at them and Kate always says 'John calm down the day is for the kids. You don't need to get agrivated.' Pot meet kettle.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the filming routine has changed much since the regular seasons began. KON had to be well aware of the fast paced filming schedules.

KON signed for another season to make more and more money off these kids. Neither of the 2 "KON"s works outside the home. Jon even quit his job with the state of PA and he does not appear to be working for anyone.

The kids are their cash cows and status symbols. Unfortunately, the 8 kids lives are seriously impacted by the stress of a 3-4 day a week job.

The kids are all working for a living at very tender ages. We never see them interacting with other kids. The trips and events appear to be canned, pre planned scripted outings. Often it appears the kids are literally dragged to these events.

I hope Paul Peterson reads this thread. I wish there were laws to protect the Gosselin children from this exploitation.
If they were Hollywood child actors, strict laws would apply to the filming schedules. Hollywood child actors probably have a better quality of life than these 8 kids.

Serena said...

Serena, how do we know this is how this particular show is shot?

This particular show is no different than any other show if its type... the production mechanics are the same, and they're grueling. If anything, this show is more taxing on the participants because of the intense needs and demands of the eight very young children involved -- untrained professionals being herded through the hoops.

I would hope that the crew would "want" or "desire" the children to have some sort of "fun" or "spontaneity" when filming an episode and not make it all work and no play.

I'm sure they do, but the priority that takes precedence over spontaneity is the production schedule constantly breathing down their necks. Forty to fifty episodes contracted for Season Four. That is a LOT of storytelling to film, and a tremendous amount of WORK on the parts of everyone involved.

I would hope that Kate with all her time-sensitive-obsessions would keep things moving rather than making her kids wait and do nothing while waiting.

It's not Kate calling the shots -- they are all at the beck and call of the crew. I think the reason we see so much impatience and hurrying is that when they can finally actually start doing something for the cameras, J&K don't want to waste any more time than necessary getting the footage shot.

Anonymous said...

Serena, Do you suppose KON gets paid a bonus if they bring the filming in on time or ahead of schedule?

Serena said...

Serena, Do you suppose KON gets paid a bonus if they bring the filming in on time or ahead of schedule?

Good question... I don't know. I guess it's possible. Money is certainly a motivator for Kon.

ritz said...

I've been waiting for someone to post the logistics of filming a TV show--ANY show, including the reality genre. I'm sure the production company and TLC are going to great lengths to make it all look as "natural" as possible--however, I wouldn't be surprised if there's also hair, makeup and a stylist for the adults as well as the kids. Yes, light makeup is used on child actors and has been for years. There's also gotta be a continuity person and some framework or outline of a "script" or prompts to follow to keep the episode on track. I've also read on other sites that some reality shows stick in a measure of manufactured drama/issues to hold viewer interest. There are only so many hours in a day and big expenses invested in taping these episodes, so things have to move along. Then, there are a few "takes" of each bit in case anything goes wrong with the tape or equipment, and B-roll to be shot (background shots, i.e.: the G's walking to their van with the kids, driving, walking to the house, etc.--anything shot for atmosphere). A LOT of work involved. As far as the G's being rushed and hasseled by the crew and tight schedule--as my mom always used to say--be careful what you wish for!

Anonymous said...

I think we all are forgetting how important it is to have routine and make plans, especially with a large family. How realistic is it to think that J&K would just wake up one day not knowing what they were going to do? So, how could there be a lot of spontaneity?

Also, I don't believe that there is so much waiting and setting up. I was at Strasburg the same day as them at the same time, and my son and I got to see Thomas-it was crowded and I seriously doubt the crew re-filmed any of those shots because had they, there would not have been enough time for everyone else. I don't really understand why so many assumptions are being made on the basis that this show would be like any other show being filmed at this time. It is obviously very different. And if they are planning to get certain outings on film, let them-children thrive on order and consistency. A planned summer would be a very happy summer for any kid.

Anonymous said...

But that was a choice the family made when they agreed to do the show.

Jon and Kate made this decision, not the children. They're adults that obviously don't remember what it was like to be a child.

laurie said...

All of this KON stuff is a riot. I love it. LOL

Thanks for clearing it up for me, Serena. It angers me even more to know that the kids are just sitting in wait. How annoying.

Another poster brought up how the kids don't play with other kids. That's one of MY biggest gripes too. We have four kids of our own, and we (my hubby and myself) are constantly saying how blessed we are that OUR kids have goood friends to be with. It's one of the reasons we made sacrifices to stay in this small town rather than moving, uprooting our family to new schools/friends/etc, all to gain more money in the bank account. It isn't all about the money.

KON plans to move, "hopefully" ::crossing fingers:: they'll realize that this move will be a place to start making friends and not enemies. I doubt it but it's still a hope. I can always hope. ::sigh::

Anonymous said...

Great post, OP. You have made it crystal clear why this show needs to end....NOW.

Anonymous said...

"Another poster brought up how the kids don't play with other kids. "

I have thought about this, that they tubs are never filmed playing with other children. Either they do play with other kids and are not filmed or perhaps the Queen does not want any additional children around making messes? The Tups may actually get dirty if they were to play with other children. And worse, they may be exposed to such horrors as bubble gum and ice cream. (I shudder at the thought LOL).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Serena. It's bad - worse than I thought. Mady and Cara go to school nine months of the year. So when they are in school, there is NO down time whatsoever owing to the grueling prodiction demands. And - they cannot even enjoy their summer - a time made for kids - because they are mandated to work by participating in outings and field trips that are more of a stress than a fun activity. Do we know what Paul Peterson is doing? I feel for the Gosselin kids - they are being robbed of their childhoods and this is setting the stage for some major psychological/emotional problems later, I'm sure. It is cruel to all the kids!

Anonymous said...

We were on a cruise ship , the Sapphire Princess, 2-3 years ago out of LA. The cast of the Biggest Loser was on board and they taped an episode. We watched them film several "challenges" and I can attest what you see on TV probably was reshot several times.

We saw 3 and 4 reshots of the same scene with a separate crew off to the side viewing tape. Filming would be suspended while the tape was reviewed, then reshot as necesasry.

They filmed for hours at one of the pools doing a fishing challenge. Of course we watched the show and this challenge was not even on the air.
Then we watched for an entire afternoon a challenge in which the contestants took food orders from passengers and delivered food around the ship. On TV, this challenge was maybe 10 minutes of air time.

I can only imagine how many times these poor Gosselin kids have to do something "fun" over and over again to get the right camera angle, etc.
These kids are most definitely working for a living.

Anonymous said...

The moniker "KON" is so disagreeable to me. I know it's Kate and Jon combined and that's the fashionable way of referring to celebrity couples...but KON is so hard and cold. And yes, Kate and Jon are hard and cold as far as the way they have sold out their family for the almighty dollar. Just saying...it's creepy.

Anonymous said...

Last night the past president of 0 to 3 (I believe) was on The Baby Borrowers. He was adamant about the show causing stress and long term harm to the children involved in the 3 day filming schedule. Why isn't he and other "professionals" stepping in to voice their concern for the Gosselin children? Surely, there has to be other psychologists out there that agree the kids are being stressed and harmed by all this filming. I don't understand why they aren't stepping up to protect these kids?

Oh and The Baby Borrowers was supposed to be educational (for the teens) as well as entertainment. I just don't understand why professionals are letting J&K+8 go on for this long?

Anonymous said...

I have heard (not as in gossip but actually with my own ears), Jon talk about filming. Now, I've slept since then, but here's what I recall... February 2008 in particular was grueling - only two days "off" the whole month. Everyone was on each other's nerves by the end of the month. They will not do it again. As much as I am interested in this family, I have tried to resist watching the show. That's just TOO much for little kids.

Anonymous said...

I would hope that the children play with other kids when the cameras aren't around. I would think that maybe the neighbors/friend's parents wouldn't want them shown in the show. Knowing Kate, they might not play with other children, but just b/c we don't see it, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen ever.

Anonymous said...

As for "Spontaneity"; I'm a mom of 4 kids 4 and under. I don't do spontaneous either. Everything I do is planned. Granted we do take walks and go outside for unstructured time, but for me, even that is scheduled into my day. It has to be right now because I have to spend x amount of time doing laundry, x amount of time cleaning the house and yes, x amount of time interacting with my kids. I know the Gosselins have a lot of help, but I think in terms of criticism, there are a lot worse things than having an lack of spontaneous play.

seashell said...

Every time I think about this, it just makes me so sad. "Reality" for those kids has been so distorted. J&K have already sold their childhoods, but it's the robbing them of normal, comforting childhood memories that saddens me the most.

Some of our best trips/memories with our kids have been the ones that weren't planned down to the minute. The ones that we let the kids dictate the day (within reason of course).

The Gosselin kids are going to look back on these times not with fondness, their childhood memories will be of going places with a production crew. Waiting for scenes to be set and on someone else's schedule. That is...if they even remember them (you can only cram so much into their lives before it all becomes a blur and nothing stands out as special).

My heart breaks for them. Every child deserves warm family memories to look back on and cherish.

Anonymous said...

I'm a clinical psychologist. I watch the show to get a sense of life with 8 kids (we have none yet!). I too have grown unconfortable watching because the kids seem to be performing more of a "job" (being cute, funny, etc.), don't seem to have any privacy when the camera's are there (we've seen Mady many times brushing the camera away), don't interact with other children, don't seem to be in any sort of "early childhood program" even at home. If this family came to my office, I would basically steer them away from their whole lifestyle. Things that seem cute and adorable now, have a funny way of coming back and biting you in the butt.

ritz said...

One other thought--are amateur photos by fans allowed when the G's are out shooting a show on location? If so, then one would be able to detect the portable lighting set-ups (reflectors, etc). similar to those installed in their home. Even though the show is taped outdoors, the lighting would have to be correct for TV or it would look like a home video, a distinctly different appearance. This would blow the illusion of "normalcy" if pix were allowed and circulated, so I'm just wondering.

Also, are the kids considered "professional" children since they are now so involved in an ongoing (not one-time) series, or are there another set of rules for them? If so, I think they (as well as Jon & Kate) would have to be members of Actor's Equity and therefore have to follow guidelines as to how many hours of work, school, etc. I remember the episode in which Kate took the twins to have professional photos done. I think she did imply at first they were doing "head shots," but retracted that and said that they just couldn't drop everything and run to Manhattan if the girls got modeling jobs or whatever.

my9cats said...

Anonymous said...
The moniker "KON" is so disagreeable to me. I know it's Kate and Jon combined and that's the fashionable way of referring to celebrity couples...but KON is so hard and cold. And yes, Kate and Jon are hard and cold as far as the way they have sold out their family for the almighty dollar. Just saying...it's creepy.

August 7, 2008 7:33 AM

IMO KON=CON which is what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

I have seen a lot of questionable parenting by the 2 KONS and I wonder how much of it is related to the filming schedule.
We have seen the kids on countless outings, someone is always crying, throwing a fit, upset. We don't see the 2 KONS taking time to calm them down or explain anything to the kids. The KONS yell and drag the kids by the arms and filming continues.

I can think of so many examples but yesterday they reran the WDW episode. They ride Dumbo first thing. Colin doesnt want to get off the ride and he is crying. Instead of explaining the isues " Colin, our turn is over, it is someone else's turn now", all Kate does is drag him by the arms and yell he is going to spend the rest of the day with his father.
Colin learns nothing
Everyone is upset
Nothing is gained but TLC has some drama to show.

I would bet $ the KONS get bonused for timely filming and I would bet they will get a bonus if they move to North Carolina, near the HQ of Figure 8 Films.

sabrinasmom said...

As for "Spontaneity"; I'm a mom of 4 kids 4 and under. I don't do spontaneous either. Everything I do is planned. Granted we do take walks and go outside for unstructured time, but for me, even that is scheduled into my day. It has to be right now because I have to spend x amount of time doing laundry, x amount of time cleaning the house and yes, x amount of time interacting with my kids. I know the Gosselins have a lot of help, but I think in terms of criticism, there are a lot worse things than having an lack of spontaneous play.

I don't think that was the point of the post. I think everyone with children has sort sort of schedule - without it, how would anything get accomplished?

I was struck with how the word "luxury" was used. Yes, the Gosselins have been afforded the "luxury" of trips, clothing, fame & money. But what good is it all when the FREEDOM of all these luxuries has been taken away and terms on their use has been dictated to them?

If you have planned a day of laundry, if you don't feel like doing it - it can be done later in the day, or some other time.

I read in a comment that the family is now at Legoland. How are any of these outings enjoyable for the kids when every move is structured?

I feel sorry for the children because they didn't ask for this. Their parents in their infinite wisdom (I am using this term loosely) chose this lifestyle for them blindly - only seeing the dollar signs.

iluveeyore said...

Kate said that the kids are staying up later than usual and they have a "hectic schedule."

What 4-year-old has a "hectic schedule"? That's absurd.

Those poor little kids are sure earning their keep!

hellokitty said...

"Kate said that the kids are staying up later than usual and they have a "hectic schedule."
What 4-year-old has a "hectic schedule"? That's absurd."

I thought that was a really odd thing to say, too. It is not like they are involved in dance/sports activities or something. It made me think that its because of this show and they are constantly on the go because of production.

Anonymous said...

I can think of so many examples but yesterday they reran the WDW episode. They ride Dumbo first thing. Colin doesnt want to get off the ride and he is crying. Instead of explaining the isues " Colin, our turn is over, it is someone else's turn now", all Kate does is drag him by the arms and yell he is going to spend the rest of the day with his father.
Colin learns nothing
Everyone is upset
Nothing is gained but TLC has some drama to show.


To give Kate the benefit of the doubt this ONE TIME, she had to get him out of the way so the next riders could get on. They didn't show what happened once they got back to the rest of the group. She could have very well talked to him then about the situation... or she couldn't have. But just because she didn't do it right then and there by the ride, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Like I said.. this one time :)

Bicoastal said...

I'm trying to figure out what the marketing strategy is for Jon & Kate.

It's clear -- at least in the "Thomas" episode -- that the producer decided to highlight Jon & Kate's alleged new-found celebrity.

Who is the target audience for Jon & Kate sans kids?

Since the tups are getting older, J&K's PR agent has to know that TLC will drop the show sooner or later. I'd give it two years max; six six year-olds running around in matching clothes with missing front teeth is not cute especially when the kids start "voguing" for the camera (like big sis Mady.)

PR agent Julie has to come up with a gimmick for Jon and Kate's new collective career as TV personalities. They can't drag the 8 kids everywhere on their future speaking gigs so what would draw an audience?

Are Jon & Kate the new Erma Bombeck? You know, witty parents commenting on the foibles of child-rearing? Any brain-dead viewer who's seen the show more than once wouldn't buy that load.

Are they the new Jim and Tammy Baker without the 'twangs? Loving the Lord all the way to the bank?

I'm guessing PR agent Julie will avoid product endorsement deals since she's aware that any big sponsor who would offer Kon a "deal" would get smacked with thousands of angry product boycott threats. (Man, those hair plugs were a freakin' bad idea.)

If our theory is correct: the Gosselins achieved a level of fame because the little tups are [were] cute; who's going to continue to pony-up-a-buck for J&K in two years?

Is PR agent Julie booking them on the pro-life lecture circuit? I think J&K want to hang with "real" celebs (i.e. pop culture "stars," not quasi-fringe political types).

Help me here; the Thomas Train episode is - I suspect - the beginning of way too much Kon camera face-time.

PR agent Julie is targeting these two grifters to ________ ?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The moniker "KON" is so disagreeable to me. I know it's Kate and Jon combined and that's the fashionable way of referring to celebrity couples...but KON is so hard and cold. And yes, Kate and Jon are hard and cold as far as the way they have sold out their family for the almighty dollar. Just saying...it's creepy.August 7, 2008 7:33 AM
Well, if it's hard and cold and creepy it fits Kate and Jon just fine, because it's cold, hard and creepy that parents would rob their children's dignity, privacy and childhood in order to live a life of luxury. I find it hard, cold and creepy that after already 56 episodes where so much inappropriate things have been filmed that they see nothing wrong to sign on to make those children do another 40 episodes in the next year because Kate wants an 8000 square foot home with pool and pool house.

Anonymous said...
As for "Spontaneity"; I'm a mom of 4 kids 4 and under. I don't do spontaneous either. Everything I do is planned. Granted we do take walks and go outside for unstructured time, but for me, even that is scheduled into my day. It has to be right now because I have to spend x amount of time doing laundry, x amount of time cleaning the house and yes, x amount of time interacting with my kids. I know the Gosselins have a lot of help, but I think in terms of criticism, there are a lot worse things than having an lack of spontaneous play.August 7, 2008 8:01 AM

Spontaneity is when children get to learn how the world works, get to use their imagination and it's part of allowing a child's brain to develop. Yes, there are a lot of things to criticize the Gosselins for and the failure to allow them to give the children time to have free play is just one more not one to ignore. Why do we have to pick and choose which is worse? Unless any of use here are experts in child development then whose to say the lack of spontaneous play with being allowed to use their imagination is less worse then some of their other failures in child rearing?

Anonymous said...
I would hope that the children play with other kids when the cameras aren't around. I would think that maybe the neighbors/friend's parents wouldn't want them shown in the show. Knowing Kate, they might not play with other children, but just b/c we don't see it, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen ever. August 7, 2008 7:56 AM

Again we could also assume that Kate beats the children and locks them in a closet when the camera's aren't rolling so assuming is not where I'm going to go. Instead until I start seeing or hearing about play dates or having other children over to play in the front with them I'm going with that the signs in the front yard applied also to the neighborhood children. Children who when they saw all the Gosselin children playing in the drive tried to come by and play with them. I believe there once was a remark by Kate that one of the twins was at a friend's home but I do believe that friend was Beth's daughter. She wouldn't even allow the twin to speak to a friend on the phone so I can't see her allowing them to actually go and play with them. So I guess they won't feel to sad to move because if Kate has already reduced the number of people they are allowed in their lives so it's not as if they will have any BFF to miss. Which is really sad.
When I was the the twin's age and my children were their age one of the best things to do was to play with a group of neighborhood children riding bikes, playing kick the can, hopscotch, and so many more. We'd get our Barbie dolls and have fashion shows on the porch, make lemonade stands and sell to the other kids and parents. Just so many fun things and not once have I seen any other children their age hanging around with the twins. I really don't think it's due to the other parents being dead set against the camera's because they could either ask that their child be blurred or sign a release for a one time episode. I'd hate to have that special time in my life stolen so I can be the big girl helper to a sextuplet sibling while mom and dad drive us hither, tither and yon to be filmed once more doing age inappropriate things.

lynn/anon1967 said...

"The kids are their cash cows and status symbols. Unfortunately, the 8 kids lives are seriously impacted by the stress of a 3-4 day a week job."

This is what really bothers me, more than anything else. I'm hoping the laws get changed, and if there is any abuse in the home, (although I think of parents that do this to children, abusive, and yes, I know it could be much worse), the extended family can look into it, and get help for that.
I'm also hoping that Mr. Petersen is looking further into the matter, and I hear back from him again. I know some think we're haters for doing what some of us do, writing to different people, and that's their choice, I just can't stand back and watch this go on and not at least try and protect these precious kids, when their parents won't.
So although the talk shows and sponsers, and anyone else I think might be able to help these children, and others that are quickly following them, may not care, or get tired of seeing my email addy, I can put my head on my pillow at night, and know I've done my best.
I really don't understand how some people just don't see it, and think things like a child crying because he doesn't get a cupcake, while watching his sisters eat their's, among many other things is cute, to me, it's torture when you're that age, and it's only getting worse, and its showing. It's time for the kids to retire, and the parents to get off their butts and work a real job.

Anonymous said...

The only reason why I watch this show is for my DD who loves Mady. The last episode did seem so contrieved. It used to be that they filmed what seemed like "a day in the life". Now its STDD (same thing different day). A trip somewhere, the kids being cute here and there and J+K sitting in the chair talking about what happened. Its like watching a weekly scripted show.

I would hope that on their "off days" that the kids just hang and are just kids. That Mady and Cara do have playdates (probably at other people's homes). I would assume the tups do interact with the other preschoolers at church. Though not alone with J and K I would think that before they hit school age most large multiples do just socialize amoungst themselves. I am trying to remember from the specials of those other families what was said.

sistah2 said...

Bicoastal - love your post as usual. The grifters! Yes you are on to something. First out of the gate is the BOOK this fall. The target audience = sheeple who watch the show and are "inspired" by them. also, the church audience will buy in - its a Christian publisher. PR lady/agent will monitor sales figures and off they go. Until, of course, some mainstream media expose the Kon game...we can only hope.

Becca said...

I have to say i like the shows a lot better that have them just hanging around the house living real lives, rather than "planned event" ones where they go somewhere or do something. Those shows are so fake now. They get so much free its not real life any more.

Beverly said...

Again for those who are demanding laws and protection for all of the Gosselin children (and children in "reality tv" shows) - it will take LEGISLATURE to do it.

We need to write to all the unions, especially SAG to have them pressure states to protect these kids.

These deserve: time limits on filming (this is why in Hollywood, they use TWINS for one kid), tutoring, social workers, and most importantly psych counselors to help them with stress. They need and deserve advocates to protect them - even an ad litem right now would make sense to make certain the monies these kids are generating is protected (ala Coogan's Law) for them to have when they reach majority.

Paul Petersen is one person who I hope can assist with this. No child should be living like this in a fishbowl.

Kaylan said...

Like ritz, I've been waiting for somebody to explain how reality shows are filmed. Granted, I know the answer, but I'm terrible at explaining so I didn't want to try. Personally, I wish ALL reality shows would be banished since they killing real scripted tv and I wish people would see this bigger picture, but that's another rant for another day.

But to give you an idea on how another reality show works, I found out that a friend of mine has a nephew who appeared on an episode of Denise Richards' show where she babysits her nephew. Basically, Denise asked her nephew if he wanted to appear on her show and said he could bring two friends. My friend's nephew was one of those friends.

And, despite the fact that Denise was supposedly BABYSITTING these kids, every child's mother was present at the house, looking on. There is no such thing as spontaneity in reality tv, no matter how much you complain.

Also, I never paid attention to the credits for J & K, so I have no idea if this would apply to them, but next time you watch another reality show, look closely at the credits: A LOT of reality shows have writers, if you didn't know already.

iluveeyore said...

I would hope that the crew would "want" or "desire" the children to have some sort of "fun" or "spontaneity" when filming an episode and not make it all work and no play.

The crew is doing its job -- no more, no less. They are getting paid to produce a "watchable" show. They probably also have a time schedule. I would think that the crew will take whatever they can get -- even if they have to tell the kids exactly what they want them to do -- and hope for the best.

hellokitty said...

"A LOT of reality shows have writers, if you didn't know already."

On "reality" shows, there are writing credits because when you sift through footage to edit a piece together, it is part of a creative process. Thus for those shows it is considered "writing" because the end product is a story.

mollybloom said...

On adult reality shows alcohol and fatigue are used to make rational adults into vicious snipers. While I would never suggest that the production company intentionally pushes the kids until they have meltdowns, I imagine pressure is part of the dynamic that creates drama, and drama is the operant word here. And yes, 22 minutes of usable film is several hours of raw film footage.

Anonymous said...

This show was always going to turn more scripted when the little kids got older. Every other reality show out there is scripted.

E.W. said...

This will not be a popular comment. I understand everyone's concerns for the children. And I think that Kate is a cold person, who treated Beth and Jodi in a callous and cruel manner. But, when just looking at whether they should do a reality show for the money, my answer is yes. They have eight children. I know, I know, I have read comments from very good people who talk about how they scrimped and saved to raise their large family. I bet most of them could have used the extra income from a show like this. Don't say I would never do that to my children for money. Kids that come from homes with little money have to suffer a lot of other things. Some children in high school work 20-40 hours a week and go to school. If you have a lot of kids and are not wealthy, at some point, the children suffer, period. These children would not have or do the things they are without this show. I have seen the show from the start and in the beginning, Kate was working weekends, even some double shifts. They NEEDED this show. Do you remember Kate crying when they took Mady and Cara to American Girl in NY? She said that she thought things like that were never going to be available to them again because of their large family. She also wondered if she would ever get to bring the little girls because of the money. (Well, we now know the answer to that!) Have they acted grateful and treated people who have helped them all these years with love and kindness? NO. But, just looking at the show as it was originally done, they needed it. Most parents with eight kids would need it. When people say the kids are suffering, I think of how many kids come from divorced families, bouncing from house to house every week. Or putting up with Mom or Dad's new boyfriend/girlfriend. These kids are benefiting from this show, that is the simple truth. Without this show, their lives would be much harder. Are Kate and Jon good people, in my opiniOn, no. But, just doing this show is not the root of evil. People talk about the stress on the children from doing this show. Do you know how much stress is on kids when their family doesn't have enough money? Yes, even little kids feel it, there is tension in the house.

I wish Jon and Kate had handled this wonderful opportunity much better than they have. At this point, I thing they are not deserving of all the benefits that have come their way, but their children certainly are. Well, Mady might be a little iffy, she is a mini Kate.

All the reasons stated above are also why I can't understand why Kate wouldn't let Jodi and her family get paid for what they have done for years free of charge. Why not let them benefit from the show too? They could improve their lifestyle, save some extra money, or put it away for the kid's college.

Don't kill me for saying this, I love this web site, you have brought a lot of issues out to the public!

Anonymous said...

"A LOT of reality shows have writers, if you didn't know already."

On "reality" shows, there are writing credits because when you sift through footage to edit a piece together, it is part of a creative process. Thus for those shows it is considered "writing" because the end product is a story.


I would think that would be credited to the editors and producers. I thought that writers on reality shows wrote things such as the intros, descriptions, etc. that hosts of reality shows say. I.e. Big brother has writers because they write the material for Julie Chen.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Stocks is credited as director, producer and writer for the show

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1653007/

Maybe she writes the intros to the episodes activities? Maybe she wrote, "This week on Jon and Kate plus 8."

lynn/anon1967 said...

Thank you Beverly, SAG has phone numbers to call also..

hellokitty said...

I just thought I'd clarify my comment about writing credits: I heard this information on a TV show about reality shows in general. I have no idea if there is any actual writing of words on Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Not to be nit picky, but I don't know how much SAG could really help. If you are part of a reality show you don't have a SAG card and usually reality TV writers are not with the WGA either.

sistah2 said...

EW, I am trying to see your point. Yes, maybe in the beginning, the one hour specials were understandable, to make a little extra money. They loved the attention too. But please, you do really think the kids would be worse off , without this show as it is now? Did both parents have to quit jobs to have this show as the sole income, in essence forcing the kids to provide, and become famous reality tv stars? The children had no choice.
BTW, you seemed to think it was so awful that Kate had to work 1 or 2 shifts a week. Sorry, but thats not so horrible to me, and does not justify what they've done.
Also, you believe a home where the family is broke makes children unhappy and stressed. I agree that may be the case, if the parents make it an issue. However I do believe you can still have a happy family without alot of $, it depends on other factors..still, do you think THAT house is stress-free now, with that reality show? Dont think so! Money didn't solve these clowns' problems. They are just magnified.

The Truth Will Set You Free said...

E.W.--I do get what you're saying, but I have to disagree with...

"If you have a lot of kids and are not wealthy, at some point, the children suffer, period. These children would not have or do the things they are without this show. I have seen the show from the start and in the beginning, Kate was working weekends, even some double shifts. They NEEDED this show."

There are many people with large families who are not wealthy, and that doesn't mean that their kids are suffering. Having things and going places won't make children happy. Jon isn't motivated and has never been able to keep a job. Kate was working 16 hrs on Saturdays--that's it! Neither of them WANT to work. They have lived off of other people since they were married. They didn't NEED the show. They wanted a lifestyle that they couldn't afford. They want to live like the rich and famous, and they don't care what it takes or how they get there. It's not about paying the bills and living comfortably. They want the glitz and glamour.

They were told that if they chose to cut back to a yearly special--they could "name their price". They opted for another 40-50 episodes, and all of the perks that go along with it.

Beth said...

I don't find it as a suprise that their show is some what scripted. Yes, it is labeled as a "Reality" show, but in reality who has a crew of camera guys chasing them around? I think the show is a combination of script or the producers having an agenda for each show and some true life moments. I belive on one of the shows Kate commented how they do have a "theme" or an idea of what they want to get. However, I hightly doubt they have a written script with lines etc.

The Gosselin's did need this show and I am glad that the family has benefitted from it. Will there be issues because of it? Pobably, but who is to know what the future holds for the Gosselins.

At the speaking engagement that I attended they both seemed incredibly grateful and sincere for all the help/opportunities that they have received.

However, this is reality for them at this point in their lives, edited, scripted, fun, exciting,hectic etc. They have made this choice for their family and they will have to live with that, bad or good.

Sera said...

You know, I honestly had no idea they were pumping out episodes so quickly until I started digging online. When they had the Memorial Day picnic epsisode recently, I was like, wow, this must have been from last year because Memorial Day was only a few weeks ago, how can they make the episodes that fast? But then once I came on here and realised they are turning around eps rather quickly, that got me thinking that these cameras must be around more than Kon say. There must only be a lag time of about 3-4 weeks in ep turnaround.

I know with Survivor, I've heard contestants say it takes practically the whole day to film the challenges because they do multiple takes for different camera angles, so there must be similar logistics involved with taping J&K+8. That just can't be good for those kids.

I've noticed Cara especially avoiding the cameras of late, and frankly, I don't blame her.

iluveeyore said...

"However, this is reality for them at this point in their lives, edited, scripted, fun, exciting,hectic etc. They have made this choice for their family and they will have to live with that, bad or good."

Sorry, but I don't see any fun or excitement. Actually, Jon and Kate seem driven. That is just sad.

bigsis88 said...

I don't think they "needed" to be on tv (though I wouldn't begrudge them doing 1 hr yearly specials), because I think sacrifice makes you appreciate the blessings in your life that much more. They are fortunate enough to have 8 healthy children, and I don't think anyone would trade that for money. The Gosselins could've worked, scrimped, and saved, and their children would've learned by example. As a member of a large family (that includes natural triplets), I recognize and am grateful for the sacrifices my parents made to send me to a private Catholic high school, and now, a prestigious Catholic university. Have we ever taken a family trip to Disney World? No, but I don't mope or cry about it, because there are definitely others worse off. I just hope all of the perks the Gosselins have received in life don't make them feel entitled, because they can't avoid the reality of having 10 mouths to feed forever. I'm not sure if they will be able to cope once the gravy train comes to an end, though, for their kids' sake, I hope for the best.

Kristee said...

~~~The moniker "KON" is so disagreeable to me. I know it's Kate and Jon combined and that's the fashionable way of referring to celebrity couples...but KON is so hard and cold. And yes, Kate and Jon are hard and cold as far as the way they have sold out their family for the almighty dollar. Just saying...it's creepy.~~~

I've written about these two fools on my blog for a while and always called them JoKa...as in joker(s). I came here and saw they used Kon and I've gotten used to it, but I still use my original name of JoKa when I'm posting. Whatever people choose to call them is fine with me, the only names that would bug me are "wonderful parents!"

Anonymous said...

I know with Survivor, I've heard contestants say it takes practically the whole day to film the challenges because they do multiple takes for different camera angles, so there must be similar logistics involved with taping J&K+8. That just can't be good for those kids.

Just to clarify: The challenges have to be completed without interruption if the show is going to be in compliance with game show regulations. What they do is have staff go through several run throughs before the contestants arrive in order to get the camera angles set up for when the contestants do the challenges. It may be that once the challenge is completed the contestants have to repeat parts for close-ups etc. for the camera, but they aren't doing the challenge again.

F. said...

On one of the shows that aired this week, it was a rerun, Jon said they have taped about 60 shows so far. Someone posted that reality show families make about $5,000-50,000 per episode. I'm sure in the beginning they didn't make that much. But, someone said that now their show is #1 on TLC with over 2 million viewers. Is that true? Now that wouldn't make it to prime time on ABC, NBC, or CBS, but for cable that's pretty good. With at least sixty shows under their belt before filming season 4, I bet they have averaged $20,000 per show, making at least $1.2 million. Plus the book, speaking fees, etc.. Probably well over $1.5 million or more before taxes.

That makes them look even worse for kicking Jodi out.

That's why Jon could leave his job. With that and what they have in the pipeline, more shows, more projects, etc., they probably feel pretty secure.

I don't think they are "living off their kids". He has worked for the majortiy of the shows. And the show is also about the parents, not just the kids. Also, Kate used to work both days on the weekends, one shift on Saturday than a double shift on Sunday when the shows first started.

But, I do think Jon and Kate are lying to people about their financial situation now. That's probably why they went big and stopped the love offerings. How do you beg money from people who probably have less than you do? She said in the hair plug show that they couldn't afford to do the hair plugs without them being donated. HA! Jon just looked at her and then she said, well, even if they could afford it they wouldn't spend their money on that.

I agree that the kids will benefit from the financial help the show gives them. BUT, their website says the kids don't have any accounts for college. Either Jon and Kate are lying, again, or they are even worse parents than I thought.

Keep up the good work of the website, people would not know about what's really going on without you.

I do think that Jon and Kate will ride off into the sunset with their pile of money. I think the kids deserve it, but they don't.

Mit said...

But to give you an idea on how another reality show works, I found out that a friend of mine has a nephew who appeared on an episode of Denise Richards' show where she babysits her nephew. Basically, Denise asked her nephew if he wanted to appear on her show and said he could bring two friends. My friend's nephew was one of those friends.

And, despite the fact that Denise was supposedly BABYSITTING these kids, every child's mother was present at the house, looking on. There is no such thing as spontaneity in reality tv, no matter how much you complain.


I watch this show, and saw that episode. On that one, one of the boys brought the Playboy Denise Richards posed in, and the boys were sitting on the bed teasing the nephew about it, while flipping through it looking at the naked pics.

So, you are telling me that their mothers allowed their boys to look at naked pictures just for the show?

Serena said...

The Gosselin's did need this show and I am glad that the family has benefitted from it.

The Gosselins did not "need" this show, and they have suffered from it far more than they have benefitted -- particularly the children.

The Gosselins are lowly human beings with the same needs as every other human being -- food, shelter, clothing, etc. Like most other families fortunate enough to be American citizens, they have a large variety of options available to them to help meet those needs. Options that would not have required them to exploit their children and plunder their childhood.

The show has made them recipients of certain material "benefits", but at a cost so high that most sensible, mature, well-grounded adults would never consider it to be a feasible choice.

amandarella82 said...

Its ludicrous that people believe its ok for these children's lives to be dictated by camera crews and such. If they needed $$ then as so many have said do the yearly specials and allow the chldren to live normal lives. The mere fact that they chose to have their kids lives invaded for the loved of $$ shows that they are greedy and put money above all else, even their own children.
I've said it before but I'm so glad I found this site because I, like so many loved them at first. (the two one hour specials) But I had Kate's number long ago. I find it sooo laughable that people would pay money to here these people speak. I'm not trying to get all religious but I know for sure Jesus doesn't give a hoot about one's "celebrity status" but rather what one does for others. Therefore a religious setting is the LAST place Kate needs to be speaking. These children are being exploited and deprived of loving family members and friends. Even a monkey can see that!

f. said...

I'm sorry, but to say the kids have suffered from the show is too much. Do I think Jon and Kate are good parents? No. But, not because of the show. My parents had a business the whole time I was growing up. As kids we worked, for free most of the time. When I was five, yes kindergarden, I was peeling apples, bushels full. Many holidays were spent working. Today, we have a good, profitable commercial food business, partly, on my hard work. I don't regret the work I put in as a child because I got to go to the college of my choice, I have a good job now, and own part of the company. Farm kids work, really hard. This romantic view of childhood is only available for a small portion of kids. Would we have starved if all my siblings and I didn't help in the business, no. But we might NOT be where we are today. Staying at home with a camera in your face or going on a trip with a camera in your face is not torture. AND YES, THE KIDS BENEFIT. How would Jon and Kate, with 8 kids and their puny salaries, pay for braces, camps, even simple birthday gifts? I do not think the things I mentioned above are too much for people to provide for their families. That is not luxury living.

A lot of kids, even young kids, work hard, whether in family businesses or on farms. That is a reality. Hopefully, in their future, they will see the rewards.

The difference between my family and the G's are the parents. My parents were very kind and lovable - even when my apples weren't peeled very well!

Love the web site!

Serena said...

How would Jon and Kate, with 8 kids and their puny salaries, pay for braces, camps, even simple birthday gifts?

The same way that millions of other large families manage to do it without exploiting their children.

Should we repeal all the existing child labor laws in the entertainment industry because they are irrelevant and unnecessary? Obviously a great many people felt they were extremely necessary and fought tooth and nail to get them implemented.

Just as a great many people look back on the tragic legacy of the Dionne quintuplets and have always hoped it would never be repeated.

Kat Coble said...

A lot of kids, even young kids, work hard, whether in family businesses or on farms. That is a reality. Hopefully, in their future, they will see the rewards.

My mother grew up on a farm. I grew up as the daughter of a lawyer and a teacher--but I still worked hard. I had schoolwork, chores and then paying jobs from the time I was 12. I still had it a lot easier than a lot of kids. I got braces on my teeth, trips to Disney World and Summer camp. All while somewhere else a child was starving to death. Literally.

Comparing ourselves and our ideals to the Gosselins will always be a skewed proposition.

As I see it, however, there are regulations for children in show business--the same business wherein the 8 Gosselin children find themselves.

Show Business Children have proscribed work hours, tutors and laws governing their earnings. Because of an open loophole found by the Gosselins and/or their producers and management, the eight stars of this TV show do not have any type of career oversight at all.

If the show is not taken off the air (which is what I would like to see happen, honestly) then I think that it ought to be regulated in the same manner as scripted programs which feature children. Each of the eight minor Gosselins should have tutors, limited work hours and ESTABLISHED TRUST FUNDS which their parents cannot touch.

That way when each of those precious young people reaches 18 he or she will have some of their earnings to use for college, marriage or other life goals.

F. said...

That's my point, most large families don't have braces, summer camp, or sometimes even birthday gifts. Because of the show, these children will. And I don't think those are luxury items.

My brother was in braces for over ten years. They had to expand his palate. God only knows how much it cost my parents. Without this show, how could the G's do something like that? Most large families go without. Somethings, like good dental care are not a luxury.

No one says a word when farm kids work or kids in a family business work. The G children are not being exploited. I was exploited peeling apples at five more than they are.

The funny thing is, I don't even like Jon and Kate. But, the best thing they ever did, as parents, for their children was this show.

Those children would be stuck in that horrible basement, instead of out doing things. Waiting in a car with air conditioning for the camera people to set up is not torture. Having Kate as a Mom would be.

To all the people who say that this site never posts comments if you disagree, NOT TRUE. All my comments, even ones where I don't agree with others are posted. Thanks!

Serena said...

No one says a word when farm kids work or kids in a family business work.

I fail to see the relevance. The Gosselin children are not participating in some homespun family business. They are children working long, hard hours in the entertainment industry, yet being denied the basic protections that their peers in the industry are guaranteed by law. And yes, PLENTY of people "say something" when those legal rights are violated.

It is high time for the Gosselin children to be grandfathered in.

Serena said...

But, the best thing they ever did, as parents, for their children was this show.

In a country where thousands of large families manage to find ways to provide well for their children without having access to their own TV show, I would never say that this is "the best thing" that J&K could have done. Not by a long shot.

To all the people who say that this site never posts comments if you disagree, NOT TRUE. All my comments, even ones where I don't agree with others are posted. Thanks!

You make your points with dignity and grace; we are happy to publish them. Even though they suck. Hee, just kidding! ;)

Kat Coble said...

, most large families don't have braces, summer camp, or sometimes even birthday gifts. Because of the show, these children will. And I don't think those are luxury items.


I think they are more luxury items than something like food or sturdy shoes. But that's beside the point.

I do think this show has provided opportunities for all of the Gosselins. In fact, my mother and I disagree strongly about this. She claims that if she were given the opportunity, she would take it to give her children a better life. I insist that I wouldn't. Of course, I had an easier childhood than she did so that may say something about what goes into a parent's choices about how far they will go to give their children something the parent perceives as a good.

The G children are not being exploited. I was exploited peeling apples at five more than they are.

Knowing what I know about the production of a television show, I would have to disagree. There is much we don't see, many expectations of which we will likely never be aware.

And there are different degrees of exploitation. Some folks would be willing to wait in a hot car, go to the zoo twice in one week or not eat their birthday cupcake if it meant a steady stream of new clothes, trips, and designed goodies from Em Tanner.

Other folks may just resent having bright lights on all day throughout most of their house, being told to repeat cute sayings four or five times for the camera or being filmed while bathing, peeing and pooping.

Of course, as adults folks can make the choice for themselves. My sticking point is that the Gosselin children could never choose. In fact they know no other way of life from this fishbowl existence.

Taken a trip around YouTube lately? It's painfully obvious from the number of homemade video pastiches with schmaltzy background music that a great many folks view these small, underage human beings as family pets.

I agree that the work to make this show may not be as hard as what you and my mother endured growing up on farms. It may not even be as difficult as what I endured helping raise my younger brothers and sister while my mother worked. But it's still work in an industry that is governed by workplace laws in other parts of the country. I vehemently protest the unregulated use of the Gosselin children's work product as much as I protest child labour in Chinese and South American factories.

Anonymous said...

To the comment about pictures being taken while they are out in public....

I watched the "All Aboard" episode again last night and when they are getting their picture taken with Thomas there is a man with a backpack on standing against the rail and he is holding a sign. I am assuming that it said something like "DON'T TAKE ANY PICTURES OF US !!!"

Also during that same scene if you look closely at the three women standing off to the side behind them it looks like Jenny. And she quickly moved out of the way when the camera was on her. So I guess they brought her along to "help" but wanted it to look like it was a "family trip" ??

F. said...

I try very hard not to buy anything from China because I truly believe that many things are made by political prisoners or child labor. I just don't see that in this situation.

What I do see are horrible parents. Take the birthday cupcake show you mentioned. That was so cruel of Jon and Kate. And they almost made it sound like it was funny when they talked about it on the chair. They said something like the kids never asked in the morning for the cupcakes, so it really didn't matter to them. That's not true, they are just to little to remember. It was their birthday no less! But, the cupcake problem happened because of their bad parenting not because of the show.

My concern is the way Kate and Jon treat the children, their lying about the money, and their treatment of Jodi and Beth, etc. They act like they deserve the help and donations just because they have eight kids. There is no appreciation for the good things that have happened to them, hence the silly sign in their yard. I think they are fake, really fake.

I'm concerned that Kate said the tups are behind in their motor skills because they don't color or do art projects to develop them. That's horrible. Do you ever see her sit everyone down and read to them? No. Eight kids is a lot, but we all know she has the help.

They could use the show to make their family life better (more time with the kids since no outside jobs, more income, etc.), but they won't.


When I found out about Jodi, that was it for me. To treat her that way, is beyond anything. Jon and Kate's souls are shriveled. I hope people learn the truth. That's why I like this site!

Anonymous said...

KON's comment that the kids had really hectic schedules is just sad.
Kate talks about how she quit her job as a nurse to stay home with the kids. OK, that is great but her kids are not benefitting from having a full time parent at home. The KONS are all wrapped up in negotiating deals and filming this show. The kids are the stars of the show and the reason for its existence.
In my area, the typical preschool kids with a SAHM are not overscheduled. They typically attend preschool 2 or 3 half days a week, maybe a library story hour or tumbling program on Saturday. They are not working 30, 40 50 hours a week filming a TV show.
It is not suprising the tups did not attend preschool as 3 year olds, no time.
KON said they will go to preschool this year, it will be interesting how many days they actually attend school. How will they film 40 or 50 episodes? And if this preschool lets cameras in the door to film the tups, this will be the last straw in the exploitation of the Gosselin sextuplets.

Anonymous said...

It has been discussed on this board there are no laws to protect the Gosselin children from being forced to work full time at tender ages.
The Coogan type laws were enacted to restrict the amount of time kids can work or film.
I belive the Coogan type laws also safeguard the monies earned by child actors. Years ago, Hollywood kid actors not only had their childhoods ruined but when they became adults they learned their parents had blown all the money.
I wonder what is happening to all the money the family earns off the tups. Do the kids have trust funds? Are the kids getting paid a portion of the earnings? Or do the KONS keep all the cash and do with it as they wish.

Serena said...

It has been discussed on this board there are no laws to protect the Gosselin children from being forced to work full time at tender ages.
The Coogan type laws were enacted to restrict the amount of time kids can work or film.


Coogan's Law applies only to children working in California, and deals only with protecting the earnings of minors until they reach the age of 18

The reality TV industry is largely unregulated where children are concerned, enabling unscrupulous production companies to work them long hours that would be in gross violation of the laws that protect their peers in other areas of the industry.

I wonder what is happening to all the money the family earns off the tups. Do the kids have trust funds? Are the kids getting paid a portion of the earnings? Or do the KONS keep all the cash and do with it as they wish.

We wish we knew. There is currently nothing that would prevent J&K from keeping all the money and setting up no trust funds at all.

Anonymous said...

Would everyone please quit calling Kate a nurse... It drives me crazy. Doesnt she just have some kind of two year certificate for something.

Bicoastal said...

Kat posted: "Taken a trip around YouTube lately? It's painfully obvious from the number of homemade video pastiches with schmaltzy background music that a great many folks view these small, underage human beings as family pets."

Lucrative family pets, at that! I'm afraid to look on YouTube now.

I wonder if Jon & Kate are flattered over video homages to their family.

What am I saying? Of course they're flattered, much like teenage girls are flattered into thinking they're style-mavens when they see another teen "copying" their trite fashion fad.

Of course this is Jon & Kate, so make that pre-teen girls... .

Why are these parents so immature?

Their behavior during couch "time" is often quite juvenile, especially the obnoxious mimicking of their children's alleged poor hygiene.
(It's clear Jon & Kate think that particular "bit" is hilarious; it's almost sad how they look toward Jen to see if she's amused.)

Are they immature because they had so many kids so young? Most people Jon & Kate's age (upon parenthood) would have been in college gaining a wealth of knowledge and a little perspective on their place in the world.

Jon & Kate missed out on a lot of personal growth by choosing to marry and parent at a young age. There is a "hunger" to them that's truly unattractive: for stuff, for fun, for attention.

Funny, for all their vanity procedures, Jon and Kate Gosselin are really an unattractive pair.

Anonymous said...

Shockingly, I think she is a real RN. One of the posts I read claimed that they went to school with her. I don't know for sure...

Kat Coble said...

Jon & Kate missed out on a lot of personal growth by choosing to marry and parent at a young age. There is a "hunger" to them that's truly unattractive: for stuff, for fun, for attention.



I'm relatively new to this whole JK+8 thing, seeing as up until three weeks ago I had only seen 5 minutes of their show, and only then because it was set in WDW.

There is a lot of backstory I just haven't had, including the age of the parents.

I'm 38. It does really shed some light on things to find out that the Gosselins became parents so young.


That confuses me, though, as an infertile person. I STARTED the "fertility" journey when I couldn't get pregnant at 26. I gave up only a year ago--but always said I would never do any of the more expensive and/or invasive treatments such as IUI and IVF. When I was in my late 20s there was no way I could afford such treatments, and in my 30s there were other considerations.

How did two people so young even know for sure they were technically infertile, let alone amass the money to pay for the long road of treatment? And furthermore, how did they get any doctor to do the two procedures (for the twins and then for the sextuplets) so close together? Any fertility specialist I ever had any dealings with wanted you to try to conceive without medical intervention for a year before beginning medications/surgery. Many specialists I talked to wouldn't even see you until you were 25. I had to bring a birth cert. to prove I was over 25. Something about the risk for cancer with some of the drugs being smaller if you are older, I think.

Anonymous said...

Well, lordy, be! I just posted that comment about Kate being a true RN. I went back and read the post I was referencing and you are right, she is not a real RN. I have RN's in my family and I understand the difference between a RN and a LPN. But, I guess Kate is less than a RN, but not a LPN. The poster said she went to a program at Reading Hospital, not a RN program. Maybe someone can explain.

Do you think that is why she always acts so uppity, really demeaning to Jon? I find that people who are comfortable with themselves are kind and can laugh at themselves. I don't think a lack of higher education makes someone less than, but maybe she does. She certainly has self esteem issues.

Anonymous said...

"I wish Jon and Kate had handled this wonderful opportunity much better than they have. At this point, I thing they are not deserving of all the benefits that have come their way,but their children certainly are. Well, Mady might be a little iffy, she is a mini Kate. "


With all due respect, I object to that statement. This forum is supposed to be all about protecting the kids. To say that Mady doesn't deserve the benefits of income and perks because she is a "mini kate" is a bit much. Does Joel deserve less that Collin because Collin picks up more around the house? Hannah more than Alexis because she screams less?

All the kids deserve their fair share, especially Mady. She has been scripted as the "villian" of this particular "reality" show and probably suffers for it quite a bit at school, not to mention all the nasty name calling from so-called adults on the web, even here in the supposed forum to protect the kids.

Anonymous said...

"Do you think that is why she always acts so uppity, really demeaning to Jon?"

I dont think Jon's 'lack of education' is the primary reason why Kate is so belittling and demeaning to Jon, but certainly in HER mind gives her cause to do so. Kate is demeaning and belittling to Jon because Jon allows her to do so! Classic Peter Pan syndrome!!
Kate must always make a point of bringing to light Jon's faults, inadquecies, incompetence, immaturity et. so in turn she appears to be the competent power and force behind what creates their very existance. Kate is to Jon, what 'Wendy' is to Peter Pan.

The Truth Will Set You Free said...

"I went back and read the post I was referencing and you are right, she is not a real RN."

What is this post that you are referencing? Kate is an RN--from a 2 yr program. I'm also an RN, but I have my BSN. You can take the nursing boards with either an Associate's Degree or a Bachelor's Degree.

An LPN is about 1 yr, depending on the program.

mswestern said...

"Coogan's Law applies only to children working in California, and deals only with protecting the earnings of minors until they reach the age of 18."

I believe that versions of Coogan's Law are also applicable in New York and New Jersey (sort of "Coogan's Law Lite"). Either way, there are no laws in place in Pennsylvania to protect children working in television (let alone non-union reality television). The North Carolina State Film Office's website -- the state to which the Gosselins are purported to be moving -- welcomes film producers and mentions "keeping in mind appropriate child labor laws" (http://www.ncfilm.com/filming-in-nc/regulations.html), but if you go to their state Department of Labor's website, you will see that there ARE no labor laws in place to protect children working in television and film from labor laws. In fact, they are explicity EXcluded from protection because that work is not covered under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) or WHA (Wage and Hour Act).

from NCLabor.com (http://www.nclabor.com/wh/fact%20sheets/joint_state_fed.htm#hours#hours):

"Children under 14 years of age may not be employed in non-agricultural occupations. Permissible employment for such children is limited to work that is exempt from the FLSA and WHA (such as actors or performers in motion pictures, theatrical, radio or television productions). Children may also perform work not covered by the FLSA or WHA such as completing minor chores around private homes or casual babysitting."

Federal labor laws do not include (and, therefore, protect) children -- of any age -- working in the entertainment industry. At this point in time, such protections are determined by state legislation.

SmartyQ said...

The G children are not being exploited. I was exploited peeling apples at five more than they are.
I and my five sibs grew up on a working family farm. We always had chores appropriate to our ages, and those chores helped to make the family business profitable. Did we feel exploited? We didn't know that word.

What we did know was that our efforts helped our parents and helped to support us, and that knowledge gave us self-esteem. We were important and valued. The culmination of our efforts were that all six of us were sent to college.

I suspect both Mady and Cara understand they are not important in Kon's scheme of things. I'm sure the tups don't know they are valued only as the family rainmakers, and I don't think it will be a pleasant day when the tups discover they have no value to Kon as individuals but only as a package.

Beth said...

"I'm concerned that Kate said the tups are behind in their motor skills because they don't color or do art projects to develop them."


*As far as the tups being behind on some motor skills, we have to remember that they were premature. My neice was also premature and her doctor has said that, espeically for premature girls, it can take up to the age of 8 for them to fully catch up. In that episode, Kate did admit to not having them use scissors prior. To me that was one of the most humble things I think I have ever heard her say. It is clear that they have started doing projects, or at least showing evidence of them on the show.

Serena said...

Can anyone tell me what happened with Kate and Beth? I can't seem to find anything on that. Thanks!

We have a Question and Answer section in this blog here, for questions such as this, and the Beth/Kate question was answered here.

Anonymous said...

This is a reply to anonymous at 8:04...

I was trying to make a joke about Kate when I said Mady was a mini Kate. As a child, of course she deserves equal treatment to the others. And I also think the others deserve equal treatment to her, meaning they should not have to live in fear of Mady. I will say that as a viewer from the start of the shows, Mady is acts horrible, really horrible. She terrorizes the other children. I have seen her walk up to the other children and for no reason, smack them, then see the camera, and hug them right away. They have talked about it on the show. I'm sure she treats other kids at school like this also. Bully cannot be tolerated. Period. I think they should tell Mady that her behavoir will not be tolerated and she will stay home with a sitter (they have the money) when she acts this way. I think her parents let her get away with it. I am really shocked by all the Mady supporters on this site. Have they seen most of the shows? Denying a child's actions, when they have done them over and over, only hurts the child. Parents must be realistic about how their children act.

Chris said...

I'm surprised with all the "early intervention" programs out there that the tups aren't having OT to develop their fine motor skills. Or doesn't PA do early intervention?

nomoredrama said...

I work in the mental health field as a Child, Adolescent and family therapist in PA. We do have early intervention here and it does exist in their area.

I think we do have to remember that just because something isn't shown on an episode doesn't mean it doesn't occur. There couldn't possible be time to film all of that and, if they are getting early intervention, the agency that is doing it may have policies against being filmed providing services. It becomes a liability issue. You'd have to get consent from the OT's and PT's. I know for myself, as a mental health professional, I would NEVER consent to my services being televised for all to see.

iluveeyore said...

Additionally, Kate would never allow any intervention to be shown on TV. Not with her perfectly normal children (remember her reaction to Aaden's glasses).

I actually doubt that any of the kids is getting any form of therapy... unfortunately. Kate would have to seek it out... something she would never do. (If they are sent to school, it's likely that the school will recommend therapy.)

ALSO -- there will be very little interaction between Kate and her "neighbors" if they move to the South. I imagine they will have a lot of land, and they won't even have to see other people. However, if any of the kids are home schooled, Kate will not be the one to do it.

Julie411 said...

Here is a link to a great article that addresses some of the concerns addressed on this topic:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53032-2004Aug9.html