my Snark

Pop Culture . . . whatever

Hiatus? by Paul Peterson


June 24, 2009

Hiatus. Now there’s a term to conjure with. It’s so in, so Show Business, and oh, so revealing. There’s our Kate, carefully dabbing at her eyes, saying “The show must go on.”

We’ve now learned that the paperwork for divorce has been filed, and that the couple has actually been living apart for the past two years. TLC had a film crew present in the house these past two years, so they knew it. Certainly the children knew it, too.

“Reality Television” my eye.

So, what would you call the last two years’ episodes, which artfully covered up the truth of a marriage gone sour? Certainly not reality, yet all parties used the documentary angle to cover up the work the kids were doing.

“The children were just participants,” was the phrase we heard. Oh, they were participants all right…in a fraud.

The State of Pennsylvania must not fail to pursue its investigation into the employment practices of TLC, and its contracted agents, Jon & Kate. It is clear that deceptive tactics were used in the production and marketing of this long-running show. There are five seasons of “Jon & Kate +8” episodes to investigate. Five years of child labor questions to address. The dollar value of product placements, endorsements, and outright “gifts” must be calculated, as well as the Gosselin children’s rightful share of the total take. The AFTRA Basic Agreement will provide a fair representation of what each individual child should have made, and would have made had a guardian ad litem been appointed.

I remind everyone that children are not responsible for life’s basic needs like food, clothing and shelter, and education.

I also expect the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, upon a finding of wrongful employment of a minor (in this case eight minors), to fully prosecute those responsible for these violations and levy appropriate fines to both the persons and corporations involved.

Going forward, and we must plan for the future for the sake of the children if this show resumes production as announced on August 3rd 2009, I pray that every element put in place for the “health, safety, and morals” of these minor children is the very best that can be obtained because we all failed these kids…all of us.

At the end of the very slim section of industry agreements pertaining specifically to Minors and found in both the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artist’s basic agreements with the mainstream movie and television producer’s association (the AMPTP) is a paragraph that every Labor Commissioner should know by heart:

“In the absence of child labor laws, or where there is a conflict in existing law, the strictest interpretation shall apply.”

This is not about what you can get away with, or how cheaply you can make use of juvenile labor to flesh out your cast of performers without calling them actors. This is all about doing what is right. This is about adults in positions of authority taking responsibility.

Paul Petersen


June 28, 2009 - Posted by | Gosselin, Gossip, Greed, Reality TV | , ,

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