California gets it. Pennsylvania does not.

Although children on reality shows are somewhat differently situated than child actors reciting lines on a movie set, California says protections afforded to both should be equal or close to equal. If anything, reality show children may need even more protections than child actors. The Gosselins cannot get away from their movie set. The set is their home. Moreover, the character they "play" is themselves, and nothing about their lives is private. Child actors at least have the luxury of retreating to their private lives when the director calls it a wrap. continue


Submitted by Dew. Dew is an attorney and a member of the California State Bar working in children’s law.

60 comments:

fostersmom said...

Although children on reality shows are somewhat differently situated than child actors reciting lines on a movie set, California says protections afforded to both should be equal or close to equal. If anything, reality show children may need even more protections than child actors. The Gosselins cannot get away from their movie set. The set is their home. Moreover, the character they "play" is themselves, and nothing about their lives is private. Child actors at least have the luxury of retreating to their private lives when the director calls it a wrap.

The prevailing opinion in many states, California excluded, seems to be that it is not the same at all. We've heard the argument over and over that the reason it is not the same is because the Gosselins are "just living their lives." But my concern for the Gosselin children is that they are not "just living their lives" at all. There are little to no protections afforded to them to regulate how much time they spend under hot lights, cameras in their faces, and production people telling them what to do and where to go. There are no clear protections about what to do when a child is sick, or is refusing to "perform", or has another commitment that interferes with production like a friend's birthday party or school function. Nor does there seem to be any real protection for any monies they may be earning. Perhaps most disturbing of all, it appears that in Pennsylvania, reality show minors can conceivably spend upwards of 12 to 14 hours a day on the set with no provisions for breaks, play time, or education, and can even be pulled out of school without consequence, as clearly the Gosselin twins have been on more than one occasion.

Fortunately at least in California, reality show children are recognized and appreciated as very similar to child actors and deserving of the state's protection. In 2003 the California Department of Labor responded to a request from a production company for some clarity on California law regarding minor reality show subjects. Thank you to Paul Petersen for reprinting their letter, which can be found in full here (http://www.minorcon.org/standards.rtf).

The Department wisely points out that there is really no such thing as a true reality show, where the children's routines will not be effected whatsoever. They state:
"As with any “reality” show, the participants - to a certain extent - will be subject to the direction and control of the director, producers and other crew members. The constant presence of cameras, lighting equipment, and crew etc., do not allow a child to conduct his/her “normal routine.”

The Department goes on to point out that no matter how much the production company intends to show the children's "normal" routines, "we are unable to discern how the constant presence of a camera crew could possibly achieve this goal. In short, the control of the directors and producers may not rise to the level of a typical situation-comedy, but would nevertheless exercise enough control to create an employer/employee relationship."

The Department correctly states that while a reality show may not necessarily be as intense as filming a sitcom, in their estimation it is impossible to create normalcy when you have a camera in a child's face. Therefore the child must be considered an employee and entitled to all the same protections as child actor employees.

Whether the Gosselin children are running around an amusement park, skiing down a hill, taking a bath, or riding in the car, as long as the camera is rolling the clock is running and they are entitled to payment, under California law.

In fact the only time a reality child is considered not working while being filmed and not entitled to payment, the Department concedes, is when he is sleeping. So when the cameras film the sextuplet's marathon four-hour naps, they won't get paid to sleep on our televisions. Of course lately the children don't seem to ever sleep at all during this extended naptime, so I would think if they are awake in their beds with a camera rolling, they would be entitled to compensation.

The Gosselin children still attend a regular school, which for the twins is at least a full day Monday through Friday, and soon to be the same for the Tups. The Labor Department points out that in California, minors attending regular school must subtract a whopping SIX hours of work time from the amount of time they would be permitted to work if they were home schooled. Effectively, a minor in regular school as young as the Gosselin children could probably not be filmed for more than an hour or so on a weekday. (That is why so many California child actors are home schooled on and off set, to increase the hours they are able to work.) Very young children, of course, like the sextuplets, can only work a few hours a day. The hours slowly increase as a child gets older, but it should be noted that in California, a child must be at least nine years old before he is allowed to spend a full day on a set (the twins are only eight), and even then he is only permitted to be actually working five of those nine hours. Clearly, the Gosselins would violate California law nearly every time the cameras turn on if they lived there.

The Gosselins seem to be hanging onto a loophole that since the children are being filmed in their environment, they're not really on set and not really working. Well, under California law, the Labor Department makes no such distinction. "Wherever the participants are being filmed, is considered the “set.”" Nice try, Kon.

We appreciate California for taking such great strides to protect ALL children in front of the cameras. We hope other states do the same, especially Pennsylvania, which not only plays host to the Gosselin's show but surprisingly several other productions featuring minors, including several PBS shows. Until then, we're guessing Jon and Kate Gosselin have no intentions of buying a beach house in Malibu any time soon.


Submitted by Dew. Dew is an attorney and a member of the California State Bar, working in children’s law.

jonandkatewho? said...

Wonderful, informative post.

It seems the state of PA needs to follow California's example.

It would be so much better for those kids.

Anonymomma said...

How many of us on here are from PA? I am. I wonder if contacting local and state legislature would make a lick of difference?

How many people do you think would be needed to make something like this be considered in PA? A law or an act to protect child actors here?

TooSadToWatch said...

Excellent article.

I have a question--if these kids are being filmed in CA or UT, do the local rules not apply?

justletthembekids said...

I saw an episode of Supernanny recently that disturbed me. It showed a little girl about 3 years old wetting herself and then getting in trouble for it.

The mom helped her out of her wet clothes and the girl was made to finish her "time out" naked from the waist. It was blurred, but still inappropriate to be filmed by a strange adult.

Do you know if there are protections for other reality tv child subjects?

ThreeFarmers said...

Well stated. This needed to be said.

beachluvin said...

Wow....very informative! Now I really really feel bad for the kids. I never realized just how much they work...why doesn't anyone step in and do something? I mean honestly, why hasn't anyone brought this to the attention to the proper authorities?

I wonder what the uber fans or sheepie think of this? Or are they so blinded by their infatuation of stranger's children that they could care less about the kids?

JMO said...

Frankly, I don't think contacting the State of PA is going to work. Remember KON is a multi-million dollar business, TLC with their team of lawyers of henchmen are not going to let Queen Kate and her children get away so easily. But also think about it, how many child actors are in the state of PA? Do you really think they will create a law for this one family. CA did it because it is the entertainment capital of the world. Right now our lawmakers probably have more important things to worry about (jobs, the economy, Americans losing their homes) than KON. It is sad that these children are being exploited but technically KON are following the laws so there is very little the public can do, other than turn off their TVs and refuse to buy any products that they endorse/or endorse them.

Techymum said...

Your writing gives me reason to hope....I had a daughter who "dabbled" in the business, and I learned very early on about strict rules. I was glad they were in place. The main one that applied to us were audition times allowed.

I have always been bothered by the lighting these kids are under, and wondering how many hours they actually work.

Thank you for taking the time to write, and maybe if we keep going at it with rational information, all children in reality tv will be protected.

4thekids said...

This is wonderfully written, Dew...bravo. THIS is the kind of information that we need to be putting out there, especially to the companies whose products sponsor the show. As much as we like to hate on Kate for her bad hair, fake tan, and lack of parenting skills, these things don't give us much of a leg to stand on. In order to stop this farce of a show, we have to really key in the exploitation of these children.

Dew, if we would like to write emails to some of the companies that sponsor the show, as well as the state of PA, would you mind if we use some of the information you provided here? I think you brought up some fabulous talking points that help build a solid argument against the continuation of J&K+8. However, I'd completely understand if you'd prefer that we not take from what you've written.

Lisbeth said...

It would be wonderful if all states adopted protection for all children on "reality TV" shows. Someone needs to step in...from Dr. Phil to Supernanny to Jon and Kate plus 8. All of them exploit children and NO ONE is protecting them.

itcouldhappen said...

Good question, TooSad. When they were in California before the Hawaii trip, were they breaking the law with their filming? Maybe Dew could help with that question?

Dew said...

"I have a question--if these kids are being filmed in CA or UT, do the local rules not apply?"

I am certain the answer to that question is yes. Whatever state the children are filmed in, they are subject to their laws. The Gosselins filming in San Diego last year was during the summer, however, when children's hours are permitted to be a lot longer in California, since they are out of school. But the next time they come to California you can bet I will be reporting them to the Labor Department, SAG, and A Minor Consideration. If they are found to be in violation, I believe production could be fined by California, even lose the rights to film there, for violating child labor laws.

The problem is with taxes so high and child labor laws so strict in California, productions are running to other states in droves. There are a lot more productions filming in Pennsylvania than one might realize. Most of M. Night Shyamalan's films were made there, including Signs and The Sixth Sense, both with minors in the lead roles. Reality shows on the Discovery Channel like Birth Day, featuring little babies and other children, are filmed in PA. Utah has become a hot place to film also, as has Canada and the deep south, like Lousiana and Alabama. We can't just say there's no point in having child labor laws in other states because productions rarely go there, because unfortunatly that's no longer the case. Perhaps a federal labor law with minimum protections to prevent "state jumping" to avoid pesky child labor laws, with at least some minimum protections, would help. Then if states wish to inact stricter laws above and beyond that, they may.

realitybites said...

"But also think about it, how many child actors are in the state of PA? Do you really think they will create a law for this one family. CA did it because it is the entertainment capital of the world."

There may not be very many child ACTORS in the state of PA, but considering the increased popularity of reality tv, and its focus on unique families, thus increases the probabliity for a child living in PA or any other state for that matter, to become a reality tv 'personality'. IMO, the very fact that children are fast becoming the increased focus of reality tv entertainment SHOULD be of enough concern to enact laws to protect the rights and privacies of minor children who are subjected to the workings of the reality tv industry. The reasoning behind enacting such laws is not for the purpose of this ONE family but for ALL children present and future. The J & K + 8 reality show, and those like it represent the necessity for such laws. Child exploitation appears to be a lucrative means to an end for parents and within the reality tv industry and for that reason the rights and privacies of ALL CHILDREN need to be protected!!!

lisa k said...

So this explains why so many of TLC's shows are in other states, they don't want to comply with child labor laws. Which would mean they care nothing about the children they film. Shame on you TLC! Also, shame on the families allowing them to do it.

MamaJane said...

There are a lot of people here who are obviously intelligent and concerned about the well-being of these children. As a therapist with experience with damage to children when raised by narcissistic parents (little "n", talking about behaviors and not a diagnosis), i do believe exploitation such as being filmed while partially clothed, bathing, pooping, fighting, on and on poses a risk for tgese kids, not to mention the gross lack of privacy and security they must feel to be constantly expected to perform for their parents benefits. They are being pimped. They may not feel that way right now, but chances are they will as they grow older.

I wonder if a writing campaign to TLC and the PA Department of Labor might at least let someone know that there are people who find this offensive. I am far more offended by the intrusion into these children's home than I could ever be by kids acting in a sitcom! Have you ever seen a sitcom kid's poop discussed? No. What makes it more ok because it is their "real lives"? That makes it worse, not better. Good grief.

Tigerfan said...

"The Gosselins seem to be hanging onto a loophole that since the children are being filmed in their environment, they're not really on set and not really working. Well, under California law, the Labor Department makes no such distinction. "Wherever the participants are being filmed, is considered the “set.”" Nice try, Kon."

With more and more episodes of J & K + 8 featuring the Gosselin children participating in closed to general public access activities and receiving preferential treatment, IMO the children are NOT being filmed in their 'environment' but a 'staging' that had been pre determined and established per the terms and conditions of all participating parties and filming SHOULD be regulated comparable to the CA labor department laws governing minor children. Equally, episodes that feature the Gosselin children participating in and being subjected to magazine photo shoots and appearing on talk shows IMO are NOT qualified as their 'evironment' but EVENTS that were pre determined in accordance with contractual terms and conditions that involve the staging of a 'set' in accordance with the terms and conditions of said and NOT the filming of the Gosselin children in their 'evironment'. The 'environment' could very well be typical to that of J & K, as consenting adults, but not that of their minor children. At the time the children appear on a morning talk show or participate in a magazine shoot, their ( J & K and children) obligation is to appear on the tv show or complete the magazine photo shoot and the children are not being filmed in their 'environment' but are indeed 'working' on a 'set'. It is time that the state of PA Child and Labor Laws take notice of the emergance of reality tv on today's society and the lucrative role that minor CHILDREN contribute to the reality tv industry and the necessity for laws to protect their rights and privacies.

lifeoriley said...

Great post. I have always felt that reality tv is, in fact, even more in need of protective laws for minors than "regular" tv--precisely because of the facts that Dew stated--they are not playing "characters" but themselves--they have no private lives, per se.
I was reading an article about reality television in which an insider was quoted as saying, "Reality tv is the sweatshop of the entertainment industry." I wonder why, then, some people would allow their kids to work in this "sweatshop?"

maria said...

What state is Table for 12 filmed in?

Just3kids said...

I don't think TLC is intentionally filming in other states besides CA to avoid child labor laws. Networks are all about the money - the bottom line. California is losing businesses left and right, many being courted by other states to relocate. This has been going on for years, and with the new tax increase imposed on April 1, even more will be leaving. Production companies are businesses, just like any other.

Dew said...

Reality TV is a sweatshop, or at least a potential sweatshop. What frightens me is that in the 20's, 30's and 40's before California had good laws, the same exact arguments were heard about child actors. Shirley Temple lived in insolation from the real world as a child and worked incredibly long hours. But everyone thought, she loves this! She's just living her life! This is fun for her! Who wouldn't want to tap dance and eat great food and play around all day? She is so lucky! Clearly that kind of existance was not good for a child. She was lucky in the sense that she managed to grow into a decent adult despite her childhood.

If this kind of lifestyle wasn't artificial and damaging, there wouldn't be so many child actors even today getting AWAY from the spotlight to go back to highschool and just be a normal kid. Even Lindsay Lohan left everything for many years after filming Parent Trap, potentially sacrificing her career momentum and millions of dollars, to just go back to her hometown and be a kid. You'll notice about between the ages of 12 and 17 she made little to no projects, and it wasn't because of lack of offers.

If the Gosselin children want to get away from this lifestyle, where do they go?

Concerned about the tups said...

Excellent post. I very much hope to see such arguments in the mainstream media very soon. Even better, a 60 minutes expose, for example, would be spectacular!.. and you know it would get incredible ratings!

Heidi said...

This is a great thread. Thank you for your insight Dew!

mary said...

Most of M. Night Shyamalan's films were made there, including Signs and The Sixth Sense, both with minors in the lead roles.

Dew, M. Night lives in Pennslyvania and that is why he films here. Not for the labor laws. He is not a favorite son of LA because he does all his work and business here. He is a good family man and spends more time with his wife and children if he does all his work in PA.

Now I do agree with you that KON will never leave this state because of the lax laws governing minors.

jonandkatewho? said...

The really sick part of all of this is that Kate and Jon, the kids' PARENTS, should be protecting their privacy and their children at all costs.

They sold their kids' privacy and dignity, instead of protecting them. The very first time that camera zoomed in on a naked child should have been when Kate or Jon said "enough", but that didn't happen.

Those kids will feel totally unprotected by their own parents one day.

I really don't know how anybody can defend the parents for this behavior. There is no way in hell I would ever have let that crew film my daughter in any stage of undress or, God forbid, going to the potty. They could have said no. They could and should never have allowed it, and these things should have been considered well before it ever happened. Did they just think it was ok because they are children? That is the very thing that makes it NOT OK!

I'm horrified by the choices these parents made, and they did it all for money. It must have just never occurred to them that it was not a good thing to be doing. They are either very stupid or just greedy. I really don't see where showing those kids sitting on the potty added any kind of value to the story of the family or the show in general. It always sickened me from the very beginning when I saw them showing these kids learning to use the potty. It grossed me out and made me feel very uncomfortable.

I just can't get inside these parents' skulls and see what made them think this was ok, ever.

Of course, I am a big privacy freak and the idea of any reality tv show filming me at all just freaks me out no end.

It bothers me because they didn't have to do it. They could have said no to some of this stuff and protected their own kids. When there aren't any laws in the state to protect the kids, one would assume that is the job of the parents, and they did not do their job as parents. I guess all they saw was the money, but they would have got paid anyhow, even had they said no filming in the nude, on the potties, etc. TLC would not have just walked out.

It was all for absolutely nothing, and potentially very harmful to those kids. I guess all they saw was greed. TLC sucks for allowing this filming also. It's just so wrong on so many levels.

But if I were in those kids' shoes, I would at some point hold my parents responsible for not protecting me.

dontgetittwisted said...

"I wonder if a writing campaign to TLC and the PA Department of Labor might at least let someone know that there are people who find this offensive. I am far more offended by the intrusion into these children's home than I could ever be by kids acting in a sitcom! Have you ever seen a sitcom kid's poop discussed? No. What makes it more ok because it is their "real lives"? That makes it worse, not better. Good grief."

CNN did a feature sometime last year that discussed reality tv and included discussion of concerns of child exploitation. The State of PA gave a statement in response saying that the State of PA Labor Department had received NO communications of concern regarding the reality show J & K + 8 and the exploitation of the Gosselin children. I find this incredibly hard to believe considering the fact that many GWOP bloggers had indeed made contact with the State of PA Labor Department. Either the State of PA is lying, covering up, or the 'communications' were not presented in 'official' form and therefore disregarded. Or all the above.

Anonymomma said...

http://www.dli.state.pa.us/landi/cwp/view.asp?a=142&q=201190&landiPNavCtr=|3876|&TNID=3877#3877

That's the direct link to PA Department of Labor and Industry's Child Labor Law Complaint Form.

http://www.dli.state.pa.us/landi/cwp/view.asp?a=185&q=58124

And that's the link to the exact Act in place in the state. I haven't read it thru yet, but feel free.

Dew said...

"Dew, M. Night lives in Pennslyvania and that is why he films here. Not for the labor laws."

Yes I know. My point was that PA is not without productions. Many projects are filmed there. Not as much as in CA, but growing. I was responding to the person who said we don't need laws in PA because projects aren't filmed there.

"When there aren't any laws in the state to protect the kids, one would assume that is the job of the parents."

The nice thing about California law is they go right ahead and assume that parents WON'T protect their child starlets. History has shown that many parents, when faced with their child's best interest and a pot of gold, will sacrifice or justify their child and take the money. It is sad that so many parents can so easily sell their children if the price is right. Brooke Sheild's mother, Natalie Wood's mother, and Nick and Aaron Carter's mother comes to mind, to name a few. The way Kon has handled this unfortunatly is not all that abnormal compared to many other parents.

It's great when a child's parents do the right thing and protect them and always put their interests first. Shiah LeBuff's mother comes to mind. But the law has to assume parents won't do this, and accordingly make provisions to protect children in case they don't.

KiSSy said...

Even if the law were different in PA, it would make no difference. The show is becoming more about Kate (and sometimes Jon) than about the kids anyway.

Notice the glaring lack of Cara and Mady lately?

8XploitedFaces said...

Thank you for this post. It should be forwarded to every pro and anti gosselin site out there. THIS is what I originally thought GWoP was about and I'm glad to see this information.

What are the rules on re-posting?

my9cats said...

Excellent comment Dew.
Should be posted on every blogsite, pro and anti Kon.
My only question is how will CA law protect the octuplets when Octomom starts her reality show which allegedly will be filmed 24/7?

Maggie said...

8XploitedFaces: You can post a link to here if you are going to pass the article on. Thanks.

happyeaster said...

Excellent comment Dew.
Should be posted on every blogsite, pro and anti Kon.
My only question is how will CA law protect the octuplets when Octomom starts her reality show which allegedly will be filmed 24/7?

4/12/2009 2:45 PM
From what I have read, it has yet to be disclosed the exact form the filming of Octomom's reality will present itself. There is speculation that the 24/7 'reality' will be in the form of an internet website (similar to web cam?). Perhaps the 24/7 web cam option is a way to get around having to comply with CA child labor laws?

Somewhereinoh said...

Even if the law were different in PA, it would make no difference. The show is becoming more about Kate (and sometimes Jon) than about the kids anyway.

Notice the glaring lack of Cara and Mady lately?

4/12/2009 11:29 AM

Although there may appear to be an absence of Mady and Cara in recent episodes does not necessarily mean that the twins were not/are not present when filming takes place. The twins, or any of the children, could have very well been present and included in the filming process but their contributions ultimately editted and excluded from the final footage that aired. The child protection laws would be a constant regardless of the direction of the show or what viewers see in the final editted film footage that ultimately airs in an episode.

violette said...

We may soon find out if the CA laws are indeed there for the protection of children on reality television.

A show is reportedly in the works that will feature kids that are about to be exploited, dare I say, even more blatantly than Kon's 8 have been yet, as it's obvious these children were conceived to be moneymakers by their irresponsible mother.

Sadly TV Guide reports that "Octo-mom" may well have her own television show in short order.

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Octo-Mom-TV-1004984.aspx

I would then likely have to stop watching all television on principle.

craftycorner said...

If PA gets good labor laws followed by the other States, the unscrupulous will simply exit the country to exploit children.

jonandkatewho? said...

Dew ~
I was most certainly not insinuating in any way, shape or form that laws don't need to be enacted to protect these kids and yes you are right, it can be safely assumed that the parents often won't do it.

But the bottom line is that it is first and foremost the parents job to do so, that's all I was saying.

Sad that there are so many who don't and won't.

Heidi said...

The best way to lodge a complaint is to do it the old fashioned way. On paper, signed with your signature, put in an envelope, stamped, and mailed out.
Emails can easily be deleted. A tangible paper complaint in their companies or government`s mailbox is much more effective. I ,for one, will do it.

ginnymae said...

If the state of PA won't do anything (ie: enact a law because of one family) then TLC is the next target. If people stop watching, they'll stop filming. End of story.

My heart breaks for those kids.

Charlie Rose said...

"why doesn't anyone step in and do something? I mean honestly, why hasn't anyone brought this to the attention to the proper authorities?"
_______________________________
Because Kate's story is always the same. She thinks it is a joke that people think her children work. She says the crew just films them doing what they would do without or without the cameras. Funny how her and Jon are the only two people in the world who feel this way.

Tammy H. said...

Bravo to California and any state who protects kids!!! KON doesn't care that their kids aren't having a healthy life and that's probably why they didn't move to NC or "warmer weather". I do think contacting the PA local and state govt MIGHT would help, if enough did it and with as many of us that are on this sight, I'm sure we could atleast bring it to light. I'm sure this season will be more about Kate and a little about the kids...and that's not what its supposed to be at all. I also think an outside source should take care of the kids money! Not Kate and Jon, cause just like Kate mentioned on a previous episode, they wouldn't even buy them a car when they turned 16, they were going to make them get a "job"...WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN DOING SINCE BIRTH!!!

wildflowers said...

IMO even if I thought I was doing my best with my kids, but if I kept reading and hearing such comments, I would definitely take notice. I would have my kids best interest at heart and would think that this many people can't be wrong and would make changes. I don't see any of this with KON. Not once do they address these concerns. Sometimes other people can get a clearer view of a situation. Even if I were enjoying the money, I definitely would pay attention to the comments. I would wonder if I had in fact become engulfed in the freebies and money. And as much as I would miss all of the perks (and their case the attention) I wouldn't hesitate to pull the plug on it all. As much as possible I would stop it all in one day (given contracts)if I thought it were in any way harming my child. If asked, these two would be like the majority of parents, and say they would lay down their very lives in a moment for them. But do they really mean it? If they won't even give them a normal life. Won't even give up money, much less their last breath. They should be set for life at this point. They should show the kids what is really important to them - unfortunately IMO that is exactly what they are doing!

cdnmom47 said...

To those who say that writing letters of complaint don't help, I disagree. I do think that writing complaint letters DO make a difference. I think sitting back and talking about it is a shame if we don't put pen to paper and start writing!

All my life I've written letters to commend good service, when I received it, and to complain about bad service/products when I received it. Each and every time I've gotten results. I know that this is a bigger problem and won't be solved by ONE letter, but I do think that if the state received MANY letters, it might put the bug in the right person's ear to start doing something about it. The way I look at it, there's no harm in trying....and nothing will be done at all if we DON'T try. Can we really continue to sit back and watch and not try to do something about this? These children need someone to give them a voice.

TVsnark said...

I hope you don't mind but I re-posted this on my tiny blog and IMBD. I linked to here too. If it's not okay I will take them both down but I really think this is something that EVERYBODY, fan or critic, needs to read.

Thanks Dew!

Sharla said...

TVsnark, we certainly don't mind if you post a snippet of the article and a link to where it is on our blog, but we've found if people quote the whole article authorship often gets lost. I hope that isn't too much trouble for you. Thanks.

a question said...

Why are there no federal protections? If California laws could be applied everywhere, this could solve any such problem. Do these California laws apply when California actors are on set out of the state/country?

Wendy said...

Okay, someday the children will be old enough to know what is going on. They are going to ask questions. Questions like: shouldn't I be getting paid for this? Where is all the money for all the taping I have done as a child? Did Jon and Kate forget that each child is entitled to a percentage of the money? Even with no law in place yet in PA, shouldn't they be saving it all for the children when they are grown? I know that they aren't. They said they will get money for college and that will make them happy. I remember going to college. If I knew that I was supposed to have money, going to college wouldn't make me feel better with no money in the bank. The kids are going to have to get jobs when they get a license. They have been working(answering questions on camera, posing for photo shoots, being the face of the Jon and Kate brand). Cause lets face it no one would go near Kate Gosselin if she didn't have those children around. I wouldn't be happy as a teenager being told I now have to get a job and work to buy a car. Haven't I been working? What about when they get married and want to buy a house? As parents, they should want to give their children a better future. Not a better life only if Jon and Kate can participate in it (i.e. bigger house for Kate to live in). Like when children get birthday money, isn't it set aside for the children for later. Shouldn't all this money the children are making be set aside for them at a later age. All the money they are rightfully entitled to.

Mary said...

remember a episode where Jon and kate made out their wills and they agued when the kids could get the money of they died. Jon wanted it a a younger age but kate wanted it later and they settled for 30. I mean these people are plain stupid. 30 years old no money for college etc 30 is old Kate. I wonder if they are putting money away for each child.

MomIAm said...

It is all speculation about whether money is being set aside for the kids or not. That said, it is a great question.

If they have money for college, there is nothing wrong with the kids having to work too. A few hours a week working to earn some money should give them a better appreciation of things. I've seen more than a few spoiled kids on TV whose parents give them everything and who are horrible people. Those shows must be popular because I don't watch them but have caught a few shows for a short time while channel changing. The kids on those shows are being exploited too. They are older and I imagine will suffer the consequences of how badly they behave on TV. There is nothing wrong with having to work hard and not being handed everything.

Serena said...

There is nothing wrong with having to work hard and not being handed everything.

Unless, of course, you've already been forced to spend your childhood working hard.

The Gosselin children have already paid their dues. Even if they were never forced to spend another day of their childhood working, they have already earned their way through college... not to mention a car.

zoey said...

Laws usually come from a place where something bad has happened. So, i think the only way for PA to make a law to protect working children, an example needs to be made of the Gosselins. They will need despair. maybe when Madelyn is 18 and tells her story to True Hollywood Story and explains her rock bottom things will change.
its too late for the gosselins kids to be saved. the best anyone can hope for is complete failure. its the onlyway future familys in PA will learn a lesson.

Taxedout said...

I have no problem with reality shows as a whole. Getting down to the brass tacks of the Gosselins is this. They are open and showy. I know the State of Pennsylvania paid out a lot of money for 6 babies and some of those dollars came from our Federal Taxes, so those of us in other states can benefit from the lack of planning on their (the Gosselins) part. I am not appalled really that they have a reality show. I think Karma will take care of that when the children are older and much wiser. I am upset that they charged millions of dollars to our tax-payers and now are making millions of dollars off the very children we paid for. Fine, take all the money TLC wants to hand to you and the sponsers, but there needs to be a law that says if we pay for your child (taxes) and you profit greatly from your children then you need to pay back the state or federal government. I am so tired of paying more and more taxes and now that the Gosselins are buying 200.00 shoes and I can't afford a new pair of tennis shoes to walk in. I work 2 jobs and so does my husband we bring home together less in a year than what the Gosselins reportedly make in a month. There needs to be a bill that requires these parents who decide to implant tons of eggs to pay back the government for their care. Octomom and Sextuplekon are these really becoming the new Super Heros of our world. Please friends, write your congressman.

jonandkatewho? said...

ITA that those kids have earned at the very least a car. I'm not saying run out and buy them all brand new cars when they are 16, but you know what I mean...

The idea that none of this money is probably being saved in separate accounts for each child just blows my mind. I don't care what the Gosselins SAY, they KNOW that the kids have jobs. They have even said that the show is the family job or something of that nature.

Those kids are indeed going to want to know what happened to all the money one day. Can you imagine the sense of their parents failing them and the sense of being cheated they will have? I feel very sorry if this ever happens, which it probably will.

As far as people thinking that the Gosselins don't have their asses covered when it comes to the taxman, i disagree. I believe that they have probably been sternly warned by any accountant that they have sought out that they need to pay taxes on the money that they make. I don't think they would risk being audited, but maybe I am giving them too much credit, lol.

The really sad thing is that the only thing that will give answers to all the questions is time, and by then we know the kids will be hurt by all that they discover. When they start putting two and two together, they may be teenagers at the time. Then it will be look out! Jon and Kate. Imagine those kids all hitting the teen years at the same time! Major resentment time! They will more than have their hands full. They will deserve it, but those kids don't deserve to go thru Hell because of the greed of the parents.

Dew said...

In California the Coogan law requires a certain percentage of earnings to be put away in trust until the child is 18. Parents can't touch it.

Normally I agree children should learn the value of hard work and that money can be a curse. But these children have spent their childhood below deck rowing like slaves for their mother and father and deserve every dime, when they are old enough to handle it. I see their money as their damages award for everything they've been through. It might not make them emotionally feel better, but at least they can take the money and use it to get away from their mother, as many I'm sure are apt to do.

Everyone has asked repeatedly where are the children's money? I think it's very telling that Kon refuses to specifically answer. If they were managing the money properly, why don't they just tell us 20 percent goes in a college trust fund when they're 18, 20 percent goes in a general trust fund when they're 21, 20 percent goes in a short-term CD for emergencies, the rest goes to current expenses. Instead they dodge the question, I think because they are doing no such thing but blowing it all now on things the adults want, like a mansion, tummy tucks and hair plugs. In fact, we have never gotten any kind of confirmation the children themselves are getting paid. Clearly the family is getting paid as a whole, but how much does Mady make? Leah? Colin? We have never gotten confirmation the kids are each paid for their work. Why wouldn't they just tell us the kids get paid if it were true?

Sassy865 said...

Awesome job Dew! Wow, I learned a lot from this article, appreciate your efforts. If only the right people would read this and do something about it!

Concerned about the tups said...

I can foresee the labor laws being changed when the Gosselin kids themselves publicly lobby for child labor law reform soon after they turn 18.

My gawd, though, how bad will reality TV be in 13 years? I shudder for the future of television.

Dew said...

"Fine, take all the money TLC wants to hand to you and the sponsers, but there needs to be a law that says if we pay for your child (taxes) and you profit greatly from your children then you need to pay back the state or federal government."

I fully support paying back the government if you come into money later. And if you can afford things, I think you should pay for them. Just for example, everyone is entitled to an attorney in criminal cases. But in many court systems, if you can pay for all or part of your public defender fees, you have to reimburse the government that amount. They typically look at your financial situation after the case is done or has at least gotten started, so it is like paying them back later.

That aside, does Kon really feel good about themselves for all the freebies and free money they took and continue to take? Especially when those people are lower-middle class sweet little old ladies? Kate always says who are we to say no. Well, you should say no. If a homeless shelter is giving out Thanksgiving dinner, does that mean you should waltz in there with your wealthy family and take part in it just because it's a free meal? It's not like anyone would turn you away.

Kon needs to really think about the morals and ethics of what they are doing, and what they are teaching their children. Their children are watching.

Steph said...

itcouldhappen said: When they were in California before the Hawaii trip, were they breaking the law with their filming?

I'm not an attorney like Dew, but I was told that the children/parents in reality follow the laws of the state in which they live. That's why the Gosselin's had no problems filming in CA and didn't have to follow the laws in CA --- they follow the laws in PA (which are non-existant). But, I could be completely wrong on this issue, too.

Steph said...

J&K have repeatedly said that the children deserved the new house. I wonder if they've rationalized in their sick minds that they bought the house FOR the children and actually believe the house wasn't for their own choice and enjoyment but was for the kids because the kids "needed" more space.

I was out of state when this discussion was held so I'm playing catch-up. Paul Petersen has posted a letter on his site outlining the CA laws that Octomom (and all children/parents in the entertainment industry) must follow.

Go to his site and look at the center of the page under the orange heading "Why Octo-Mom's Reality Show Dream Will NEVER Be Taped In California" and click on the link that says "California Department of Labor". Her use of streaming internet may allow her a way around all of these laws though and will probably get CA lawmakers busy working on internet protections for minors.

The letter is an interpretation by Dept of Labor lawyers answering questions posed by producers wanting to use children in a reality show. It's in a question and answer format, easy to understand, and very interesting.

http://www.minorcon.org/

aimee said...

If CA has laws about the amount of time children can be in front of a camera even in a reality series, how come Kimora Lee Simmons children are constantly shown on her show The Fab Life of Kimora?