Tom and Trix Plus Six

The Jon & Kate parody blog, Tom and Trix Plus Six was updated today - now who is that "family helper"?

GWOP Responds to TLC's Official Statement

We appreciate TLC finally issuing a statement about the controversial Gosselin family whose show airs weekly on their network. In a statement to CNN, TLC said:

"Because of the show, the kids and the family have economic security and the luxury of a mom who can stay at home and raise them."

However, we are disappointed that a respected network like TLC has so cavalierly missed the real issue here. The issue is not how much money the family makes, or whether their mother, father, or both stay home with the children (which they BOTH do). The issue is the constant cameras in these children's once private lives, as Paul Petersen has so eloquently stated, turning their day-to-day existence into a "spectator sport." TLC first attempts to justify the show by stating that the family is now "economically secure." However, just because the family is making a lot of money and is undoubtedly secure in harsh economic times, does not make what this show is doing to the children right. In fact, TLC's statement has caused us all the more concern, because TLC now has admitted that it is all about the money. According to their statement, everything they are putting these children through is okay because they are making a lot of money for it.

Unfortunately, history has shown that the wealthiest of child celebrities, Paul Petersen included, had very tragic, lonely childhoods and often equally tough adulthoods. Tragically, more than a handful of child actors died far too young, from drug overdoses, suicide and the like. Many more lost all the money they made. Money has never been associated with happy little child actors. In fact, history has found the reverse to be true. The more money that exploited children make, the unhappier they are. And, lest we forget who is controlling the money the children are making, it is their parents.

TLC further attempts to justify the show by saying that the children have "a mom who can stay at home and raise them." There are many reasons why this part of their statement also does not hold up. Kate does not need to have a television show to stay home. Lots of parents of multiples stay home. Keith and Becki Dilley, parents of the Dilley sextuplets, both took a turn staying home throughout their children's school years... without a television show supporting them. If Kate really wants to stay home, she can find a way to do so without exploiting her children. Many families with many children manage to get by on only one income. Moreover, we believe that because of the show, Kate is spending even less time with the children than she would have if she worked a day job. Episode after episode, in addition to their speaking schedule, has confirmed that Kate, as well as Jon, leave these children on a regular basis for days at a time. The children are frequently left with relatives, babysitters, neighbors, and nannies, while their parents travel around the country speaking about their "economically insecure" situation, collecting love offerings, subjecting themselves to hair transplants and tummy tucks, and the like. They have even left the children when the children were very sick... so Jon could get hair implants. Just a few weeks ago, Kate left the children for several days for a "brown paper bag" school lunch campaign.

Even when they are home, Kate and Jon's days are filled with conference calls, interviews, filming, meetings, and other production requirements. It's hard to give eight children the attention they need under normal circumstances. One wonders how a celebrity family with these kinds of obligations manages to spend any time at all together -- time away from the cameras in private. In a recent episode, Kate and Jon were seen to be so busy that they could not even sit down together on the same interview couch. This is hardly what one would expect of a typical stay-at-home mom. If this show were intended to provide Kate with the ability to stay home, the unexpected result is that she has become a very absent mother. TLC's statement is simply an excuse, a weak justification for exploiting eight little children who have no say in the direction of their celebrity lives. There is no child advocate on set, no teacher on set, no laws regulating any aspect of production or the money they earn. (The "set" is usually their home.)

TLC has shown a blatant disregard for both the current and long-term effects of exposing children in this manner in a way, quite frankly, we're not sure we've ever seen before. We fear for the Gosselin children, and we also fear for the many reality show children who are sure to follow if nothing changes. TLC, we hope you will pay heed to Paul Petersen and the many other, less well-known but just as concerned, viewers who have spoken out about Jon and Kate Plus 8.

It is not okay to subject children to this kind of grueling, intrusive filming schedule. It is not okay to make celebrities out of unsuspecting little people. It is not okay to rob them of their parents' time and attention. It is not okay to deny them the money they are rightly owed, or to not protect the money they currently are definitely earning. It is not okay to place them at risk of falling off the right path, behind many other exploited child actors who have come before them. TLC, it is not okay to continue this show any longer.

Submitted by Dew

CNN clip on Paul Petersen Discussing Jon & Kate Plus 8

As many of you know, CNN and Headline News have been running a clip about "Jon and Kate Plus 8", specifically on the exploitation of the children, since last night. Paul Petersen of A Minor Consideration is interviewed - the Gosselins declined to be interviewed, so TLC issued a statement. And, and, and, Gosselins Without Pity and Truth Breeds Hatred were also mentioned in the story.

Eden has uploaded a copy of the clip on YouTube - thank you so much!

And thank you to Paul Petersen and CNN, specifically Brooke Anderson!

The clip mentions that no complaints have been filed with the Pennsylvania Labor Department - some of our commenters disagree with this. Contact the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board if you wish to be heard.