Proposed New Law Inspired by Our Not so Favorite TV Show

From Rep Murt:

At that hearing, we heard testimony from officials at the Department of Labor and Industry as well as a number of experts and individuals who have been involved in television productions. Among them was Paul Petersen, who was a very successful and popular child actor himself and knows first-hand, the pitfalls of involving a child in this kind of work.

Based on the testimony we heard at the hearing, I have developed House Bill 2515. This bill is aimed at addressing several holes in the current law which were identified at the hearing. My legislation would:

Require all minors to have a work permit issued by the state Department of Labor and Industry to ensure all adequate provisions have been made for the minor’s educational instruction, supervision, health and welfare.

Restrict minors to work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and set guidelines for amount of hours for work, recreation, school work, and activities per work day.

Require the presence of a state certified “set teacher” on the set of any production. This person will serve as an advocate for the minor to ensure the minor’s health, education, and moral safety on the set. In addition, this person will monitor the working conditions, the minor’s mental health, and the demands placed on the minor to ensure they are appropriate to the minor’s age, strength, and stamina.

Require that 15 percent of a minor’s gross earnings be set aside by the employer in a trust for the minor. At least one parent or legal guardian shall be trustee of these funds unless otherwise determined by a court.

Pennsylvania’s law must evolve to address current conditions. As the number of films and television shows produced in Pennsylvania continues to increase, it is only sensible that we adjust our laws to ensure they address the particular issues associated with that industry.

Nowhere is that more important than on issues which have an impact on children. We must ensure our labor laws provide appropriate protections for the children involved. My legislation will do that.

FoxPhilly story.


dustilies said...

Wow--actual forward movement so quickly by a legislator!

I am stumped by vagueness in the linked article on two points. Hope folks here can clarify.

1) children under 7 can only have temporary jobs, like a single movie? So a series would be outside the law for the tups? Is this why TLC is calling it a set of "specials"?

2) hours of filming restricted to 7 am to 10 pm. But how many hours allowed in a given day or week?

Geri said...

snipped from article:
Pennsylvania state law permits children who are at least 7 years old to work in the entertainment industry, as long as a permit is obtained and certain rules are followed. The law also allows performers younger than 7 to have "temporary employment ... in the production of a motion picture."

So does this mean that since the tups are not yet 7 they can't "work" because they are not involved in a movie? Hmmmm

Kristine101 said...

The "archaic" PA laws, concerning childhood labor, are the majority of the problem. There are no guidelines governing Reality TV programs, or the welfare of those "acting" in them.

At least progress is finally being made. I would like to see the tups enter the 1st grade, at some point in life! Enough is enough. Where is the licensed psychologist, asking the Gosselin 8 whether or not they care to participatein these shows? Kate is using the children to fill an insatiable stardom hunger... and personal void.

Protesting, and boycotting TLC, are two simple ways to make a difference. I'd also encourage a ban of the product placement sponsors.

Lucy said...

Progress! Looks like the mirror Khate keeps admiring herself in now has a big long crack. 15 minutes are tick, tocking finally.
Sure hope this passes and the 8 can get back to school and friends.

Judy said...

They can only work from seven am to ten pm? How nice and kindly.

Ohio Buckeye said...

“To put it bluntly, reality TV is not reality. It may be 50 percent, I’m not sure what percentage it might be, but reality TV is really not an accurate moniker,” Murt said."


Exactly what GWoP has been saying for SO long! My hat is off to Mr. Murt, Ms. Alred, and Mr. Peterson. Also to Kevin and Jodie - I'm sure there was HTP for speaking up and out against J&K. I applaud the courage and tenacity of all of them.

(I'll bet Katie Irene's shorts are all up in a bunch tonight!!)

Ohio Buckeye said...

"They can only work from seven am to ten pm? How nice and kindly."


Oh, but remember that their parents claim the kids aren't WORKING at all - they are simply PLAYING while the cameras roll, capturing all their spontaneous childhood joy and glee.


NoUse4Kate said...

The 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. is mind boggling. That is basically saying they can film them working for 15 hours a day. Gee how great. >:(

There should be a limited number of hours that they can work each day between those hours. What are the guidelines for teens working in McDonalds, bet the terms are not so broad.

It's good to see some movement forward, but at the same time, this can still be totally abused by lowlifes like Hate, Yawn and TLC.

season 5 said...

This is great news. I'm sure TLC will find a way around it, though. Here's hoping the kids don't have to start the school year in a new state.

As for Kate, she is probably on a need to know basis and her "team" will keep this proposed law out of her orbit, so to speak. In her world, its full speed ahead. Hollywood, ET, Dancing with the Stars, to infinity and beyond!

TotallyANanny said...

Here's who I am:

20 something year old actress. Not overweight. No cats or hoarding. The reason I found this site is that I have worked multiple times with children and love the safeguards that are in place for them. These children have been a joy to work with and are pretty normal. They go to school (everyday), they have playtime, they have normal meals and the filming schedule works around them, not the other way around.

The way that the Gosselin children are working is not right and needs to be fixed. If anything, they need more safeguards. Child actors know that things are fake. When they have tough scenes to do (death, kidnapping, horrible injuries), they know that it will be done soon and they won't have to keep living it. They also get many breaks to have fun and laugh. When I did a scene with a child that had to pretend to die, we giggled between takes and talked about pranks we wanted to play on the crew. The Gosselin children don't get that. This is their reality and they never get an escape.

Sorry for the long rant (I guess I always do that when I post here), but I don't feel like I am the same as most posters here and I wanted my side to be heard.

dustielies said...


Thanks so much for sharing your valuable experience working with child actors.

ITA that the problem for the Gosselin 8 is that the line between "pretend" and "real" is very twisted and ultimately harmful for kids (adults, too, but that's another post). Child actors report many awful experiences, but at least they had a concrete sense that what they were doing in front of the camera was make-believe.

I think the kids that get to work with you on set are really lucky! And so are the kids who have had you as a nanny!

Kats said...

Progress is being made! I still don't get the crock of shit that was fed to us on why the kids weren't placed in Kinder this year...

Here's hoping they start 1st grade next yr, camera free.

Thank you for listening Rep. Murt, you'd get my vote if I was a PA resident and I'm not even a republican! lol

Kate's Nemesis said...

Thanks to the state of PA, for looking into our concerns.

This is an oddity, yes. Children... being displayed on reality television, while covering their eyes? Why not protect the innocent?

This is what our country is famous for... peaceful protests, are the key.

We appreciate Rep. Murt, and his tackling this major legal obstacle, and making it happen!

Anonymous said...

Bravo to Rep. Murt, I am writing my state senator, the one that took over for Hilary whose last name I can't ever remember. But she's a real working mom, she worked up until the day before she gave birth so I hope that she cares about Child Exploitations.

IwishJonwoulddrinklitebeersaid... said...

i just read a really good article about a young woman who is a Lost fan and lives in the neighborhood where most of the cast live while shooting the show. she had tried out for extras work and got a call several months later and was so excited. her 2 friends got to do it also. she said that te scene that shows Claire having the baby took 4 hours to shoot and they only had 5 to 10 seconds of usable footage to put on the show!
you can't tell me TLC doesn't do this. she said there were lighting changes people running around, etc.
those poor kids. are they agoing to start Kindergarden this fall or next fall?

those poor kids.

K8STFU said...

Here's hoping they start 1st grade next yr, camera free


Hi Kats-

The tups will need to finish KINDERGARTEN first. They will hopefully start this fall , at the age of 6.5 !

LifeinOH said...

cherier1 said...

"One Child International-Child AbuseWatch today described the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s ruling on the Gosselin children as ‘shamefully little and way too late.’ One Child's CEO, Evin Daly, described the Department's decisions as 'pathetic.'

The Departments probe concluded that during the filming of ‘Jon & Kate Plus 8,’ which followed the lives of the couple and their eight children, the children were employed under Pennsylvania's Child Labor Law because of the direction they sometimes received, because of their continued participation in the series and because the Gosselins and others were paid for the show. (

Despite an avalanche of public concern in 2009 on behalf of the children, the parents and TLC walked away from the ruling without penalties of any kind. Labor officials ruled that at least 15 percent of the show's gross proceeds, due to the children, must be placed in irrevocable trust funds until they reach the age of 18.

Child AbuseWatch campaigned over the summer of 2009 on behalf of the Gosselin children who they believed were being financially exploited and abused through neglect. Cara, Madelyn, Alexis, Aaden, Collin, Leah, Hannah, Joel were denied work status and the accompanying protection despite their active involvement in the show.

‘It took the PA Labor Department over a year to reach a conclusion that the public was aware of from the get-go,’ Daly said. ‘Had the Labor board done their job in June 2009 the children would have been spared the public showing, and TLC’s recording, of their parent’s divorce.’ He went on, ‘Awarding the children 15% of the family revenue when they represent at least 50% of the show is an extension of their wholehearted exploitation by all of the parties involved. Based on this math each child therefore makes less than 2% each while each of the parents receives 42.5%. This is, in a word, wrong.’ .........."

couch potato said...

Temporary Employment! Yes, that is what I've been talking about.
It's okay to get a glimpse of other folk's lives. One or two shows of "here are the Gosselin's" or "here are conjoined twins" or "here's a family with an issue and how they solve it". That's what the Learning channel should be. We can all learn from each other.

But to give one family a bunch of money and excessive exposure? Then it becomes nauseating to the viewers, and destructive to the family unit.

Kate's going to be on for 2 hours with her new show and I sure won't be watching that!

Anonymous said...

One question - when does this new law go into effect? Could be that the tups will be able to film the new (gag) khate plus 8 simply by turning 7 before the law is in effect.

Its also possible that the law contains more than what was reported - such as the maximum time per day a child can be working. 7 am to 10 pm are probably simply the times, not meaning they can actually work 7 - 10. There may even be some wording in the law about education, breaks, etc.

That's what *I'm* praying for.

Shoshannah said...

7 AM to 10 PM? I thought it was a typo.
Even in a third world sweatshop, I doubt that 6 year olds anywhere have to work till 10 PM.

Who wrote this law - Kate??

PaMom2 said...

I am so glad that my state has finally started progress in updating and creating new laws regarding children in the entertainment industry. However, I really hope that they do not actually refer to these as Jon & Kate Child Laws. Because in her warped mind Kate will believe it is somehow a compliment to her. LOL

Monster Mommy said...

I encourage any of you, who are in the local area... to hop on over to TLC HQ's in Silver Spring, MD tomorrow, around noon.

I know there is at least one person, that will be standing on those steps.

Funny and saddening at the same time- how it takes a total stranger, to be the "voice" of the Gosselin children.

Hell hath no fury, like a blogger scorned!

Ingrid said...

I thought of this last night as another example for why reality shows kids are the same as regular actors.

When it comes to a small baby in a show or movie who is only able to lay/sit there and can't act or follow direction, are they under stricter child actor rules? Since they are not able to 'act' they are just 'living their lives' while on camera right? (in a crib, in someone's arms etc)

Thanks to all the posters for the info and chuckles. It is a great blog!

Ella said...

@PaMom2, you are so right! If they name those laws after j&k, kate will take it as a compliment, rather than wanting to hide like the rest of us would.

@Monster Mommy, best wishes to you tomorrow, hope all goes well. I am certainly there with you in spirit!

Good to see the progress & hope there is more to come. I also hope the ones that are there will be enforced & that kate will stop getting away with her nonsense. It will be good for there to be someone on the set who has the children's interest's first as they will be the lone voice in the woods, so I hope they are strong. I also hope that TLC isn't able to work their way around this or pay off anyone.

That said I'd still like to know about what's happening with filming these children nude & in the bathroom. I've seen private citizens busted for less & with less proof. I don't like the sense that this is being swept under the rug because kate agreed to put 15% away, sorry, putting money away does not erase a violation like this. Yes, the cameramen should have known better.

And while 15% sounds nice, 15% divided between 8 children is far from appropriate or right, it's a slap in the face for all the work they've done. Yes, it's better than nothing, yes, it's a start! I think kate should be given the 15% & the kids should get what she's getting, after all, they've done the majority of the work for THEIR ENTIRE LIVES thus far.

dustielies said...
ITA that the problem for the Gosselin 8 is that the line between "pretend" and "real" is very twisted and ultimately harmful for kids (adults, too, but that's another post).

It's a lot like kate's line between real & pretend, badly blurred.

miffed in Reading said...

Geri Said....
snipped from article:
Pennsylvania state law permits children who are at least 7 years old to work in the entertainment industry, as long as a permit is obtained and certain rules are followed. The law also allows performers younger than 7 to have "temporary employment ... in the production of a motion picture."

So does this mean that since the tups are not yet 7 they can't "work" because they are not involved in a movie? Hmmmm

5/24/2010 3:00 PM

No problem...coming soon to a theatre near you...Kateplus8 the motion picture (A TLC production).

BigSky29 said...

I don't understand why anyone would want to see glammed up Kate the attention you-know-what prance around on the beach yelling at her kids. It's NOT a reality show! Kate's life is not reality. This is just ridiculous and I hope no one watches it.

Monster Mommy said...

I did not attend the TLC boycott... I live about 3,500 miles away.
Although, I did promote it... and any future protests.

N.E. Psychologist said...

I used to wonder how low tlc would sink. I think I've got my answer.

TLC has contracted with a paid Lobbyist regarding the pending legislation (HB 2515), due to be announced on June 3rd 2010.
Lobbyist info:
Scott Bishop
S.R. Wojdak & Associates, LP
30 North Third Street
Suite 950
Harrisburg, PA 17101

p.s. sorry about the typos in my last post.

N.E. Psychologist said...

More/updated info re: tlc on A Minor Consideration's website (linked from gwop also).

Have they (tlc) NO decency?

Ella said...

N.E. Psychologist said...

More/updated info re: tlc on A Minor Consideration's website (linked from gwop also).

Have they (tlc) NO decency?

Disgusting, utterly & completely disgusting. Tells you where TLC's priorities are hiring a lobbyist instead of announcing their new corrective measures.

Interesting the crimes you can get away with when you have money to protect you. It'd be nice if they had to do prison time. Heck it'd be nice if kate had to go to prison, let her scream there & see how far it'd get her. What a truly vile & greedy bunch of people. Money more important than the well being of children.

Vanessa said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a story years ago about parents who were charged with child pornography? They had taken pictures of their kids in the tub. The employee at the place they brought the film reported it to the police. Whether the charges went through or not is of no consequence, the fact that the police went to investigate and it was reported as CHILD PORNOGRAPHY is what I see as a gross injustice. The parents were not distributing the photos, the parents are the ones who took the photos. They claimed it was totally innocent, that we all have pictures of ourselves in the tub as kids...
NO UPROAR about allll the footage of the tups in the nude, shots of their behinds, pullups, taking showers, going on the potty...all on the INTERNET I might add! What is wrong with this picuture???

Unknown said...

I think the name I was called when commenting on a pro-Kate site tops them all.....I was called a 'f...tard'....I then pointed out that 'tard' is a slur.....probably used by them to name anyone not as brilliant as they think they are......of course my response was not published.

Ella said...

@Vanessa, That's one of the things I'm very outraged about. All these shots of the kids, that simply should not have been taken, I'm sorry, the cameraman & parents should have known better. You don't leave your child in the bathroom with a cameraman, I don't care how you word it, it still comes out sounding creepy.

I've said before & I'll say it again, there have been people charged for less with less evidence & yet we're not hearing about anyone even hauled in for questioning in this mess. I think at the very least someone should be confiscating & reviewing the footage before TLC destroys it, there's enough suspicion to merit doing it.

Nice to know if you have a lot of cash you can put inappropriate footage & pictures of kids out there & nothing seems to happen, yet pictures of kids in the tub get parents no one has heard of arrested. It's sick.

alana said...

Another brilliant deduction from Kate:

How lovely and funny that her child has "a secret" with a new member of the crew.
That's a behavior I certainly would (NOT) encourage in my child.

Hate Greedslin really is STUPID FOR A LIVING; an "innocent secret" today, a devastating and life-altering (secret) FELONY tomorrow.

dustilies said...


ITA--a fistbump and an "I have a secret" from a six yo is a HUGE red flag.

I'm not saying kids don't have secrets they keep from their parents (thoughts and deeds). If one of my kids greeted a cousin or friend the same way, I'd be happy about their intimacy and mutual trust. An adult other than a close relative or close family friend--Not so much. Actually NOT AT ALL.

I'm totally disgusted. When you have eight famous, fetishized young kids, your pedophilia/inappropriate attachment radar should be on red alert at all times.

Since I am an adoptive parent, I am hyper-aware of attachment disorder. If I saw that interaction in person, I might feel that the child was so fragile in her attachment to her parents that she would seek out other adults who might take care of her should her parents, who seem unreliable to her for some reason, fail to provide.

Kids with attachment disorder can be incredibly charming and outgoing with adult strangers. And attachment disorder is not unique to adoption. Sadly, lots of biologically related parents and kids fail to bond.

HOMs, I would guess in a totally uninformed and overly confident way, are susceptible to attachment disorders just because, even if the parents are models of devotion, the ratios of cuddling and playing time don't work out the same as for singletons, twins, or even triplets.

Vanessa said...

@Can't See Sheep,
Exactly, are we in the Twilight Zone? ONE person a phone call to the police and BAM-they start an investigation, it makes the news. There have been tons of letter campaigns, phone calls and reports to the appropriate authorities about the Gosselin kids, AND NOTHING! TLC is still fighting the DAMN LABOR LAWS WITH A LOBBYIST! Even if TLC destroys the footage, they've already sold thousands of DVDs, many would gladly turn them over. But sadly, it seems to be a non-issue.

Midnight Serenade said...

"NO UPROAR about allll the footage of the tups in the nude, shots of their behinds, pullups, taking showers, going on the potty...all on the INTERNET I might add! What is wrong with this picuture???"


...and even when it's reported to the FCC, with links to the footage, they do absolutely nothing. TLC seems to have everything on their payroll.

ihatefrogstoo said...