Patt Morrison for June 28, 2010

The case of the reality TV kids: violating child labor laws?

Mercer 8401

Mark Piscotty

How ready for starring in reality TV shows are kids?

Over 100 years ago, hundreds of children marched to Teddy Roosevelt’s house, demanding child labor laws. But do you see anyone making a fuss over the kids ‘working’ on “Kate Plus 8” (formerly “Jon and Kate Plus 8”)? It’s the case of the reality TV kids: are they actually being paid? do they need work permits? are these shows violating child labor laws? Los Angeles Times reporters Matea Gold and Richard Verrier explored this strange spectrum of the already strange reality TV world, finding that 11 reality shows did not file the proper paperwork for the children. But is this a realm where labor laws don’t apply and are these minors actually “working”? It’s a drama that has acting guilds and lawmakers in a frenzy… but it’s not necessarily scripted.

Guests:

Matea Gold, LA Times reporter who, with Times reporter Richard Verrier, wrote the investigative piece which appeared in yesterday’s paper

Paul Petersen, National Chair of the AFTRA Young Performers’ Committee and national board member for the organization. He is also president of A Minor Consideration, a group lobbying to overhaul child labor laws.


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