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« Silent Five-Minute Rally, All Time Zones Invited | Main | Protesting on Behalf of the Gosselin Children »

Laws on Children in Entertainment in Our 50 States

Eagle-eyed reader Irene contributed this link which contrasts laws regarding children in entertainment in all fifty United States. It doesn't provide specifics but shows a good overview allowing us to contrast and compare.

PA is doing better than some states but there's a major flaw in our laws: They only pertain to children age 7 and up. Therefore, it's free-for-all for kids younger than that.

It's obvious that a lot of work has been done to institute good laws protecting children in entertainment in California. On the other hand, Rhode Island, you totally copped out on this one.

Tiny little bone tossed to the Gosselin children: You've lost most of your childhoods and you'll never get them back, but at least you don't live in Mississippi, New Hampshire or Utah.

Thanks Irene!

Reader Comments (55)

Oh, no, I cannot take credit for this find.

Someone~wrote~someone~on facebook,~who~alerted~someone~who came~to~facebook~which brought

Janet Plazzotto the creator of the Minor Consideration facebook page to 4-8 Please boycott Kate plus 8 on TLC page. This lady is a maverick to say the least. I have about 6 links already and will email them to Werny & Admin. She gave me this link.

Let me tell you all who blog who have questions about kids in these shows. There are people behind the scenes working & they are glad that we are using our voice, wanting to protest peacefully, etc. In other words...don't get blogged down in the blog world! :-)

We are all neighbors in this & we can collectively ban together. Janet P. is unable to come to the protest in front of Discovery on May 26 but is willing if people are interested to do one in New York.

Keep checking your blogs & keep saying what needs to be said. These kids are WORKING! they are not being filmed in "play" environments. It is time to hold their feet to the fire. If you see them in your state tell us!

TLC we are not joking we are the real thing here. If Kate and Jon wanna career fine! But, make a career without the kids.

Thanks though Werny! I just had to give credit where credit is due. I know I pop up all over but I am interested in everyone's views & am so glad for all the hard work that goes on on all these blogs.

Team 8!

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIrene S

Good for you for giving credit where it's due. You go gal! :)

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWerny Gal

Werny Gal,

(Sorry I referred to you as Wernie Girl in the past!)

I hope you will allow this comment, as it's not directed toward anyone in particular.

I think we should all try to keep our comments (here and elsewhere) in line with what we would want Murt to see should he come to check out our opinions about the filming of reality children. We want him to take us seriously. JMO.

No offense to anyone in particular. I put this in this new thread since it is the latest one. I wasn't referring to any comments here either.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSchmeckyGirl

My question is this: does the permit that TLC has to film these children in PA extend to taking them to Florida and filming them there?

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Message from Janet P (creator facebook page for AMC & activist) from A Minor Consideration. She gave me permission to share this email with her today about children in these reality program formats.

"my honest opinion right now to put a little "fear" in TLC/Discovery, Figure 8...let them know that all of you are not "green" to this industry and understand there are child labor laws/regulations regarding child performers, some requiring work permits and regulations concerning work hours and schooling and are well equiped to follow these companies from state to state with their productions if minors are involved and will be questioning as to whether to the kids are working or just being declared participants or require work permits and if there are any laws/regulations that would involve the children and protect them. This includes taking vacations/trips if those kids are being filmed for the show!

how can you let TLC know the bloggers are up on all of this? just make them stay on their toes cos you are all watching the kids and the laws..state by state! i can post it on TLC's facebook page? is there one?? far as the sponsors! Ask them if they are paying the KIDS to sell their products on TV because if a child booked a commerical to sell their product they sure WOULD be paid a nice little sum of money! Think about it..they went to Disney - did the kids get paid to "sell" the disney park and products? the parents were paid, it went to family money and now being used to fight divorce and lawsuits! nice huh!

product placement...those crooked playhouses, Gymboree..the kids were NOT PAID - the parents were, but who sold the product!! the kids!

sad, so sad!

don't forget AMC facebook discussions there is a lot of info there too and paul AMC website!!

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIrene S

Kate + 8 will never be watched in this house. In fact, we have not watched TLC for over a year because it is too toxic. Shows like Kate + 8, 19 kids + counting, Toddlers + Tiaras, (I could go on and on), TLC greed fosters, is disturbing to say the least. You can't call any of these shows "entertainment" ... if you truly care about children and believe they are NOT born just for profit! There is strength in numbers and the tide is turning.
Hope rises that these type of shows eventually lose their audience.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

Did you know that children in PA are not legally required to begin school before the age of 8?

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjust wondering

MB, to answer your question I'm cutting and pasting this from 15's current blog entry: "According to PA law, time shooting in any other state counts toward time permitted to film in Pennsylvania. In other words, you can't run to another state and max out on your hours permitted in PA, then come back into PA and start fresh. The clock has run." 15 Minutes has a good entry currently up on Florida child labor laws so check that out if you have time.

Just Wondering, I had no idea. Thanks for sharing that.

I agree Schmecky, I think it's important to always remember anytime we say anything online that it can be read by anyone.

Thanks for the smart and insightful comments everyone.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWerny Gal

Just Wondering, Many states have compulsory school laws starting at age 8. Ca. is age 6. I for one am glad and wish we lived in an age "8" state.
Many children are not ready for the hard core academics that are now pushed on kids so early in this country. Obviously in this instance, the compulsory law is being abused if Kate keeps them out of school so she can work them.
However, I don't want the govt. telling me that my child HAS to be in school before they are developmentally ready. I didn't send my kiddos to preschool because I had the opportunity to stay home with them and do those types of activities at home. The socialization argument is one that can be debunked. Children don't need a public school setting to learn how to socialize. Mine did it through play dates, library days, field trips, park days with friends, etc.
Anyway....I'm passionate about my children's education. We homeschool because we feel it is the best choice for us. I wouldn't want anyone taking away that right just because some parents "might" not be doing what the govt thinks is best for their children...I hope that makes sense. I'm not in any way shape or form anti I just want to protect my rights as a parent, yk?
Ok, back to your regularly scheduled

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermommyinca

This is kinda OT but I saw a link on another blog (Z I think) to an article that talked about how the Police Dept. in Kate's area were fed up with doing traffic control near the Gosselin home.But the important thing in that article was that if Wernersville decided to enforce the bylaw that forbids conducting a business in a residential area, they could shut the whole thing down.That area is not zoned for business purposes. This officer's opinion was that the Governor of PA is so happy to have the revenue and the publicity from the show that he will not do anything about it.
If enough people in the Wernersville area complained about this to their town council, insisting the bylaw be enforced, maybe we could see some action to shut down what is obviously a business venture. How about it, Werny Peeps? It might be worth a try!

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIDModo

WOW. What a difference a state makes.
Thank God she doesn't move the family
just to make things simpler. She will never move to CA unless they give her some type of super deal. That was just smoke and wishes.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hi IDM, it's always good seeing you here. Al Walentis actually addresses that in his book which he gave me the first draft of, so I popped it open on my desktop and here's the scoop on zoning. It's first draft of Al's book so please ignore any typos or writing issues. The info is sound. I have Al's permission to share anything in book in my blog so I cut and pasted this one little section to answer your question. I have removed the name of the road because it's my policy not to publish that on my blog, and I added a couple of words in brackets to complete a sentence:

"There was chatter in the summer months that the Gosselin taping at ------- Road violated zoning rules set by Lower Heidelberg Township. False. The property actually was zoned as agricultural, but doing a TV show there was no hassle. We checked it out in early June. Joe Neidart, the zoning officer and building inspector for Lower Heidelberg Township, discounted reports that neighbors and police were disgusted by the massive media presence and that the Gosselins may be violating zoning restrictions by setting up a TV studio in their residence.
Neidart said the township supervisors, through the solicitor, asked him to conduct a zoning review of the Gosselin property within the last month or so. That review had been completed and submitted for approval.
Neidart said his staff conducts what are called drive-bys, where officials drive by the property at random times and observe how the property was being used. He said the agents concluded the property [was being] used for residential purposes. Generally, commercial use means a storefront that would impede normal activities in the area. He said there has not been any complaints from neighbors.
Once the zoning report is approved, any resident can challenge it with appeal, which would be heard before zoning appeal board. Neidart said he had "not one iota of evidence" any neighbor wanted to mount a challenge.
Neidart said the Gosselins, through their contractor, properly applied for all permits to do work on their property, such as constructing a fence and TLC installing free solar panels."

BTW, yes, the official word by the police is that they have not been annoyed by the traffic and hassle, but elsewhere in the book Al writes about how annoyed they were and how they wished they had more important things to do.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWerny Gal

Thanks, WG,It's good to be back. I've been at Social Justice Camp all week so I am really fired up about strategic ways to make positive changes! Thanks for the info about the zoning, I thought it might be worth a try.
Can't wait to read Al's Book!

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIDModo

It is my sincere hope that the protest makes a dent in this situation. I am totally disgusted that as usual, those children are being used as product placement billboards (example: jackets worn to restaurant). In fact, if you check out the pap photos, the whole group was coordinated in black and white. I read that the meal was filmed at the restaurant in Reading.

Same exploitation goes with their birthday gifts of the motorized cars. And someone commented that the kids are a little too big for these----absolutely true.

Unfortunately, WG, writing the advertisers has had little effect in the past. I guess it couldn't hurt, but unless there's a huge campaign, it just won't matter. I think coverage of a protest at TLC is the best course of action to enlighten the public.

It is curious there's been no leaks of pictures of the filming in FL. This is telling me that they must be getting concerned about the image of the kids working, Kate being a diva, and the ever present bodyguard's attention. I hope that someone blogs about what they witnessed. Very disappointed that Disney would be a part of this.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgiaMom

Ga Mom: Someone wrote about it a tv critic in florida.

Hal said, "We presume that Kate didn’t crack. And if she ever does, that development will be saved for a very special “Kate + 8."

I laughed so hard. People are catching on to the same-ole-same-ole TLC.

Janet P from Minor consideration brought up this thought, "Vanna White turns letters on Wheel of Fortune" She makes a fortune. But, reality program kids like the Gosselins get crumbs.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIrene S

Hal Boedeker, TV critic Orlando Sentinel, confirms filming. A GWOP poster with a relative who works at Discovery Cove, confirms filming May 13 with a sick Aaden vomiting per earlier post.

GWOP moderators have decided not to do recaps on Kate's new shows. Bravo! Time to let real TV critics have at her.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgiaMom

Writing the advertisers does help! Gymboree dropped Kate, Proctor & Gamble, and Nestle' and many others also dropped the show. I've been bombarding advertisers since January 09 along with many others. It does help! Keep writing!!

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjust wondering

You're right. Some advertisers did drop the show. Unfortunately, new ones took their place. I have written too, and will continue. At least I feel I am doing something. Did any of those advertisers specifically say that they dropped the program due to negative feedback from viewers? I don't recall. The only thing I ever read about was advertisers complaining about Jon's behavior to TLC.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgiaMom

Because advertisers buy blocks of time that target certain demographics, many large companies do not actually choose specific shows, but the target demographic said shows usually attract.

For example, Fisher Price wants to target moms of young children, say 18-35 in age. They buy blocks of time for ads during shows such moms may typically watch.

For this reason, writing to companies is an on-going in effort in education: describing where their ad dollars are being placed and why we object to the placement.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercherier1

I am disgusted with TLC and their exploitation of children. I have never watched Toddlers/Tiaras but saw a clip advertised the other night. What parent in their right mind would put their children through that. Don't these "adults" know there are pedophiles out there who live and breathe for these shows that exploit young kids? On another note, the clip for 199 kids and counting showed the older girls teaching the younger kids. Those kids are being exploited just as badly by their parents as the eight Gosselin children are. I wish TLC would stop filming children.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda in NS

Very well said, Cherier1. I agree, Linda in NS. Toddlers & Tiaras is so sick it's hard to believe it's even on the air. It's even edited to show how exploitative the parents are and the parents STILL don't get it. They are the ultimate stage mothers, trying to fulfill their lost dreams through their children. On the other hand, shows like K+8 and the Duggars are more insidious because they are intentionally filmed and edited to make these shows seem harmless to the kids. Unless someone pokes around or bumps into information educating them otherwise, or unless they have the common sense or appreciation of childhood to realize what being on these shows could do to kids, they could watch these shows and think everything's okay when it's really not. What's worse? Being openly and obviously sick at the expense of the kids, or being intentionally phony and unreal at the expense of the kids?

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWerny Gal

Linda in NS - I don't know if it was a typo or snark, but 199 Kids and Counting just made me laugh. It sure seems like that many when you watch that show.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

Toddlers and Tiaras is another reason that our protest should be geared to ALL children in reality shows.Many of the "pageants" are in Southern states where the child labour laws are as slack as they are in PA, or worse. It's not a coincidence that TLC is there. Pageants are a good ol' Southern tradition, but children should not have to be paraded like little adults in skimpy costumes, being taught suggestive moves, and made up like showgirls.
Some people see shows like this and think "How awful! I'd rather watch something wholesome like the Duggars or the Gosselins!" They don't realize that pimping your children is the same whether overt or insidious.
And then of course there are the pedophile fans...for both kinds of show..making it dangerous as well as distasteful. I can't fathom the sort of mind that thinks this type of programming is appropriate or entertaining.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIDModo

I don't watch TLC at all anymore, but even back when I did, I never watched Toddlers and Tiaras because it is a disgusting show. TLC should be ashamed of themselves for producing such a thing. I wonder how the ratings are for that show, and how many pedophiles account for the number of people watching it.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpa mom too

Since we're talking about protests, I think ABC needs to be taught a lesson in regards to the fakeness of DWTS. Apparently Kate will be back for the finale and ABC execs think it'll bring in monster ratings since the ratings have been down since she left (IMO it's because the show is rigged and people have wised up---why else did they keep her on?).

Send ABC a message that she's not worth it by NOT WATCHING on May 25!

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgiaMom

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