Monday, June 1, 2009

The Children ARE Working

I just read an article on USA and I feel the need to respond to a few things. You can read the entire article HERE.

Eileen O'Neill, president and general manager of TLC, made a few statements that need to be addressed.


In a statement, TLC said it "fully complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Jon & Kate Plus 8 is no exception. For an extended period of time, we have been engaged in cooperative discussions and supplied all requested information to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor."

Notice the carefully worded sentence...TLC fully complies with all APPLICABLE laws and regulations. This is exactly the point that many people are trying to make! There are NO laws that apply! This is the "dirty little secret" in reality TV. I'm not just talking about Jon and Kate plus 8. This applies to ALL children WORKING in "reality" TV. The industry wants everyone to believe that the children aren't working. They want you to believe this is all innocent and the cameras are just following these families around and capturing spontaneous moments. The kids are having fun, just doing what they would normally do.

They don't want people to know that it takes many, many hours, sometimes days to film enough footage to make one 30 min episode. I read in another article that TLC said they are only filming 2 hrs/day...2 days/wk. That is absolutely NOT TRUE! Look back at the episodes and see for yourself. Look at the list of episodes and count how many they've aired over the last 2 yrs. They are in Season 5, but the series didn't debut until April 2007. That's almost 100 episodes in 2 years time. Seasons 2-5 have been running back to back. There has been no break!

The children in reality TV ARE working. Think about the number of people who are involved in order to make a TV show--writers, producers, directors, camera/sound crew. Look at the credits at the end of the show, it's all there! All of these people, including their parents, are working and getting a paycheck. BUT since the show is labeled "reality", the children aren't considered to be working. They aren't getting paid, and therefore aren't protected under child labor laws.