LOS ANGELES — Meet Gwen Thompson. She’s the latest doll from American Girl and she’s homeless.
The Wisconsin-based company which “celebrates girls and all they can be,” is known for its tasteful, beautiful dolls that reflect periods in American History.
But, reviews are mixed on the newest addition.
Some say “Gwen” is sending the wrong message to America’s girls.
“That’s actually really disturbing, and that’s not the American dream,” one woman told KTLA. “I thought these were American Girl dolls.”
Others say the doll can be used as a teaching tool to help create awareness about what’s going on in the world.
“I think it’s truthful. I think it’s right on,” said another woman, who told KTLA she used to live on the streets.
Each doll comes with its own storyline. Gwen’s story is told through another doll’s biography.
Her father ran out on the family and her mother lost her job. Soon, the fatherless family was living in their car.
“Gwen” sells for $95.
None of the money is used to directly help the homeless, another factor fueling the controversy.
“To me this is a very cute girl, and there’s nothing cute about being homeless,” said Matt Kamin, who works to help take children off the streets in Los Angeles. “And I have a problem with American Girl making money off the plight of being homeless.”
American Girl, however, has donated almost $500,000 since 2006 to HomeAid, a national nonprofit group that tries to help the homeless find housing.
There are between 7,000 and 10,000 homeless children in Los Angeles.
“Gwen” is a “limited edition” doll, only slated to be available for a few more months.
Today 1:52 PM PDT by Chelsea Handler
The December issue of Playboy is soon to be released. I mention this because I’m on the cover. I’m also elsewhere in the magazine so if you were going to judge the magazine by its cover, go right ahead. I didn’t eat anything but grapefruit and turkey for a few weeks to prepare for the shoot, so feel free to compliment me if you think you see a rib sticking out. I brought a few of the perverts that work for me along for the shoot. They shot a “Holiday Christmas Party” scene and those guys were more than happy to hang out and look at the other women’s boobs while Chuy and I worked hard on perfecting our poses. I can’t give away what you will and won’t see, although some of what you won’t see I have definitely given away. Think of it as my Christmas gift to the world…even though I’m Jewish and not a big fan of the world. Anyway, I hope you buy a copy, show it to your friends who are 18 and over, and don’t ask me about airbrushing. L’Shanah Tovah.H
The Unreal Rise of Jon and Kate Gosselin
How did two average parents from rural Pennsylvania with an outsize brood rise to such dizzying heights of stardom and tabloid infamy? The author peers behind the curtain of the biggest celebrity story of the year.
By Nancy Jo Sales
WEB EXCLUSIVE October 19, 2009
‘Nobu, Nobu, I want Nobu!” Kate Gosselin wants to go to Nobu. She’s got a night away from her eight kids—also her co-stars on the hit reality series Jon & Kate Plus Eight—and a reporter is offering to take her out on the town. “I want sushi!” Kate says, leaning back in an armchair in her suite at the Essex House hotel overlooking Central Park, checking her BlackBerry, popping gum.
But Laurie Goldberg, senior vice president of communications at the Learning Channel, which airs Jon & Kate, doesn’t think Nobu’s such a great idea. Kate cried on the Today show this morning, answering questions about why she’s still wearing her wedding ring (“for them,” she said of her children, sniffling), and this afternoon she told People, “I am so emotionally spent” (from her husband’s behavior, which has included philandering with the daughter of the plastic surgeon who gave Kate her tummy tuck), and so it might not look good for her to be out enjoying herself at a hot spot.
“You’re like a prisoner,” Kate says of her newfound fame, annoyed.
Kate, who in the first season of Jon & Kate, two years ago, appeared on-screen as a dowdy, sweatpants-wearing mama hen, is now looking very much the celebrity—from her tanned, trained body to her curiously asymmetrical blond hairdo, now so iconic as to be the model for a popular Halloween wig.
Her phone rings. “Oh, it’s Kelly”—Ripa, of Live with Regis and Kelly—Kate says, holding up a French-manicured finger, signaling for us all to be silent. She’s going on the show tomorrow morning. She and Kelly gab. “Hiya!”
It’s early August, and Kate, who is 34, has come to New York to do battle—media battle. She and her estranged husband, Jon, are churning around at the center of a multi-media tsunami focused on their split and impending divorce. They are the subject of gossipy talk-show talk—a frequent “Hot Topic” on The View—and the target of thousands of disapproving blogs (GosselinsWithoutPity being the most insane).
A Social Experiment That Needs To End
Children Before Outcomes
October 20, 2009
A thoughtful supporter of A Minor Consideration, Elizabeth Miller of Atlanta, Georgia, wrote to us on our Facebook page to ask if these children on reality shows aren’t more closely related to kids involved in medical research studies…and if they are, why aren’t the same ethical standards used to protect them?
In medical research, if a researcher has cause to believe that harm will come to a child involved in a medical study the project must be shut down.
“Children before Outcomes.” What a concept. Is it too much to ask that entertainment executives be held to that same standard the instant they hear a “pitch” that involves children?
Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes Balloon Boy. If the sight of a six year-old vomiting victim, Falcon Heene, torn between truth and parental deception, isn’t enough to shut down the reality show industry that is so wantonly exploiting children, then I don’t know what it will take.
Don’t you see the path we’re on? What a terrible time to be a child in America. No one can take comfort in telling themselves they would never expose their own children to this sort of entertainment drivel because the alarming truth is the message is being spread to children all over this country in unmistakable fashion.
If your dysfunctional parents want to sell you out, you are on the market and your Right to Privacy be damned.
Forget the Law or basic morality. The adults charged with protecting you are in it for themselves, not you.
Paychecks and pensions mean more to grown-ups than your welfare, even if it means ignoring existing law and regulations.
If the media can gain a ratings point or two, you, my child, are completely unprotected. Everyone will be paid, but you won’t be.
This is worth reading, whether you are a Rosie fan or not. It’s about her visit to a special childrens’ home.
Get your kleenex.
I really wish she didn’t write in all caps . . . .
I like Meghan McCain and I used to follow her on Twitter. My favorite tweet was when she said a pizza delivery guy asked if she was “obsessed with John McCain or something.”
Meghan McCain, whose profile as a young political commentator has steadily risen in the wake of her father John McCain’s loss in the 2008 presidential election, posted a photograph on Twitter of herself yesterday in the midst of what she called, in a tweet, her “‘spontaneous’ night in” with “my Andy Warhol biography and takeout.”
The response to the photo, at left, was apparently not what she had expected.
Just one hour after she posted the picture, a seemingly hurt and angry McCain posted this tweet: “so I took a fun picture not thinking anything about what I was wearing but apparently anything other than a pantsuit I am a slut, this is.”
And then this one: “why I have been considering deleting my twitter account, what once was fun now just seems like a vessel for harassment.”
And then this: “when I am alone in my apartment, I wear tank tops and sweat pants, I had no idea this makes me a “slut”, I can’t even tell you how hurt I am.” (Here’s McCain’s twitter page.)
McCain, who writes a column on the Daily Beast Web site and has more than 60,000 twitter followers, quickly took the photo down. But it had already spread far and wide online and generated enough interest to rise, for a brief moment, to the top spot on Google Trends.
She also kept posting about the picture and the response to it.
“ok I am getting the f*** off twitter, promise not to delete my account until I sleep on it, thank you for the nice words supporters,” she wrote. And then she offered an apology: “I do want to apologize to anyone that was offended by my twitpic, I have clearly made a huge mistake and am sorry 2 those that are offended.”
Twitter users expressed surprise that McCain was taken aback by the response to her photo.
“I find it difficult to believe that she [didn’t] expect *some* reaction to that photo,” wrote afrobella. Others expressed sympathy for McCain for the criticism she received.
“i really don’t understand why people r having a cow over megan mccain’s pic,” wrote pamela1483. “i think it’s fine. whats the problem? that she has boobs?”
On Thursday afternoon, McCain wrote a pair of tweets that, taken together, formed what seemed to be her takeaway from the experience: “I would like to thank my family and friends for their support. This has been an embarrassing experience but also a learning one. I will not…be deleting my twitter account but I will be more careful in the future about my use with the medium.”
McCain seems to have learned the same lesson that many young Internet users have taken to heart in recent years: Be careful what you post online.
From The Insider:
Jon Gosselin has struck back. After TLC removed his name from the title of the reality show, Jon & Kate Plus 8 Tuesday, the 32-year-old reality TV dad, via his attorney Mark J. Heller, sent the cable network a pair of letters stating all filming and production crews are heretofore banned from his family’s Wernersville, Pennsylvania home.
“Effective immediately, no production crews are to enter Jon’s family home for any reason. In the event that anyone enters the marital property, Jon Gosselin will notify the local authorities to effectuate police action against any trespassers,” his lawyer Mark J. Heller wrote to TLC.
“The Insider” has learned exclusively that Jon Gosselin has put TLC, the cable network behind “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” on notice to “cease and desist” any television production of the show and leave his property.
Gosselin’s attorney Mark Jay Heller tells us: “Jon realized his family was like a trainwreck, so he decided to put the brakes on the divorce and on the show … because if he didn’t the family would be in a mortal accident … the victims of a trainwreck.”
Heller tells “The Insider” the original agreement between TLC and the Gosselin family “may very well be ‘null and void’ and unenforceable.” He claims that TLC never secured the special permits required by Pennsylvania Child Labor Law as a “prerequisite” for the Gosselin children’s involvement in “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”
Heller also claims that TLC “failed to designate the appropriate compensation to be allocated to the children” and “it may ultimately be determined that TLC has not provided for compensation for the eight children over the past four years.” Gosselin’s lawyer further alleges that the network “never secured location permits” for the production company to film the show on the Gosselins’ property.
Heller and Gosselin tell “The Insider” they’ve been in discussions to pull the plug on the program and take the kids off the show for weeks prior to Tuesday’s announcement that the name of the show would change from “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ to “Kate Plus 8.”
Heller also maintains that the production deal for “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ does not carry over into a new show titled “Kate Plus 8.” He tells us that “a new program known as ‘Kate Plus 8′ would certainly require the acquiescence and consent not only of Kate Gosselin but Jon Gosselin, who is the father of the eight Gosselin children, which consent Jon has not given and if necessary, Jon is prepared to seek Court intervention to make sure his children’s best interests are protected.”
In light of these claims, Gosselin’s legal team tells TLC lawyers in a never-before-made-public letter obtained by “The Insider,” “…you state that your client has ‘…stated many times in the past, the Company will not undertake any conduct that either Kate or Jon truly believes is detrimental or potentially detrimental to their children.’”
“Jon Gosselin unequivocally believes that his children’s continued participation in your client’s television production is ‘detrimental’ to his children. Accordingly, Jon expects that your client will cease and desist from any and all further production which includes his eight children.”
Gosselin’s attorney writes to TLC lawyers in a second letter: “Effective immediately no production crews are to enter Jon Gosselin’s family home for any reason. In the event that anyone enters the marital property, Jon Gosselin will notify the local authority to effectuate Police action against any trespassers.”
Originally posted Thursday October 01, 2009 11:45 AM EDT
Jon and Kate GosselinTLC Suspends Show, But Blasts Jon Gosselin’s Cease-and-Desist Order | Jon Gosselin, Kate Gosselin
On the heels of news that Jon Gosselin is trying to shut down production of Kate Plus 8, the network that made him famous is firing back with claims that his latest legal move is purely in his own self-interest.
“We are aware of Jon Gosselin’s recent statements, and remain deeply disappointed at his continued erratic behavior. He and the family were shooting as recently as last Friday, without incident, and his latest comments are grossly inaccurate, without merit and are clearly opportunistic,” TLC said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Despite Jon Gosselin’s repeated self destructive and unprofessional actions, he remains under an exclusive contract with TLC. Direct filming of the children has been currently suspended, pending further conversations between both parents.”