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Entries in reality TV (53)


Octomom Claims Investigation was Set Up & A Word to Nadya Suleman

Octomom Nadya Suleman has been in the news again this week after being investigated by children's services for neglect and abuse of her children.  A report was filed with her local child protective agency and pictures on TMZ showing some of her children outside on potties while a chair blocked a door from being opened inside the house.  Nadya is now refuting those claims, saying she was set up by her hairdresser who took clandestine photos inside her house and then misrepresented the situation in her report of abuse and neglect. 

Nadya has also been crirticized for spending hundreds of dollars on a haircut for herself when she has 14 children to care for.  Suleman's hairdresser claimed she paid $520 for a Brazilian Blowout and haircut. "I am making money, though. I have jobs and I can afford it," Suleman claimed on Good Morning America. She also explained that the bill included 14 other haircuts for her children.

Even if she can afford it, that's a lot of money for haircuts for one mom and 14 kids.  Please Nadya, bring the potties inside where there's no chance someone may see or take pictures of your children during their private moments.  Now those images of them are going to be on the Internet forever.  Maybe that haircut money would have been better spent getting that toilet fixed so that the kids could have a cleaner, more private bathroom environment.   Would you want pictures of yourself on the toilet blasted on the Internet?  Because if it's true the kids were outside using pottys because there was no working plumbing inside, where were you going?




Is Kate Gosselin the New Human Barbie?




With tabloid speculation that Kate Gosselin has had a facelift, there once again are a slew of tabloid articles and blog discussions about Kate Gosselin’s changing appearance.

It wasn't that long ago that Kate looked like an average Berks Countian.  She wasn't beautiful, nor was there anything offensive about her appearance.

When Kate was a child it would have been difficult for anyone to anticipate what she'd look like today, except perhaps in her own childhood dreams.  Perhaps she imagined, as many girls have over the past six decades, that when she grew up she would be as "perfect" as our fictional cultural ideal, Barbie.


It appears that Kate has given into the pressure many female entertainers feel to keep up with Hollywood standards. Perhaps she has relished the attention becoming “prettier” has garnered her, perhaps being “beautiful” feeds into her sense of entitlement about deserving all the best life has to offer simply because she is who she is, or perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above.  In any case, throughout all the speculation about boob jobs, weight loss, tummy tucks, botched botox, chin implants and facelifts, Kate has looked less and less like her natural self.

In relation to her parenting, Kate has looked progressively less like her children.  What is it like for ethnic-appearing children to witness their Caucasian mother gradually reject what little ethnicity she had?  And how will Kate's role-modeling impact her daughters?  The twins are now eleven, an age when many girls develop an interest in appearing older.  How will Kate allow her daughters to dress and make themselves up as they enter adolescence?  Will Kate be surprised  ~ or dismayed ~ or proud ~ if they want to start looking like her?

This isn’t the 1950s anymore.  Today we know that beauty comes in all colors, shapes and sizes, and the ways adult role models ~ particularly parents ~ teach their children to feel about their bodies can make a world of difference in children’s developing the confidence and self-esteem that will help carry them through their adulthoods.   Attentive parents teach their daughters ~ and show them by example ~ to love themselves for who and what they are, including their appearances. 

True beauty lies in individuality and feeling good about yourself, not succumbing to stereotypes.  Yet as time has gone on Kate has progressively morphed into the Barbie stereotype we try to teach our daughters to not feel pressured into having to look like.

When asked about her appearing as though she's recently had a facelift, Kate stated she felt "complimented" by hearing she looked so "young and rested."   But the fact remains that despite her attempt to spin the speculation into positive press and her chirpy "chin up, tally ho, never give up" attitude, unless Marabel Morgan is your hero, that's not necessarily a compliment.

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This is an edited version of an article first published as Is Kate Gosselin the New Human Barbie? on Technorati.


Happy Thanksgiving To You

Good morning, or should I say Good Afternoon to all.  I woke up fifteen minutes ago, at 12:15 PM.  It's highly unusual of me to sleep in this late, in fact I don't know if I've ever done it before, but late last night I started watching Gone With The Wind on AMC and the rest is history.  What a great film, and what a long film too, especially with commercials inserted.  So the first thing I was thankful for today was my hubby letting me sleep in.  Now it's time for me to tackle that big turkey breast and all the fixins for our big meal this evening.

Happy Thanksgiving to all creatures, great and small.  May everyone be warm, clothed and fed adequately today.  A special Happy Thanksgiving goes to my wonderful friends such as Mickey, Irene, Pamela, Susan, and so many others I've met and become close with on this blog.  I wish the Gosselin children and Ellen and Jon a day filled with peace and love and I wish Kate a day filled with gratitude for her many blessings.  (Gratitude deserves its own special appreciation too.)  I am grateful that Kate has a job related to couponing which does not require the children working.  Having looked at the other blogs to see what they were doing for Thanksgiving posts, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ziggyflo included Jon and Ellen in her holiday wishes this year, and so I would also like wish a Happy Thanksgiving to Ziggyflo.  Although we don't agree on much, Ziggy, I would like to express my condolences for your neighbor's loss and tell you how much I admire you for taking such good care of your son.  I don't know much about your situation other than the little bits and pieces I've picked up over the years, but it's obvious you love your son to pieces as well as appreciating your blessings, and kudos to you for that. 

Every Thanksgiving, we go around our holiday feast table and each tell what we are thankful for (a tradition I wouldn't mind repeating every day at dinner time, if only my guys would put up with it.)  There are so many things to be thankful for today and my greatest Thanksgiving wish is that everyone appreciates them all.

Okay turkey breast, look out, here I come.



Reality TV Kids Have No Legal Protection From Pedophiles

By "Former" and Polly Kahl


For the past few days the LA Times has been running a story about a registered sex offender who has been working as a casting director  He went by the name Jason James, although his real name is Jason James Murphy.  Producer JJ Abrams (Super 8, Fringe, Lost) found out about Murphy, went to Paramount, and Paramount contacted the authorities.

When Bill Blankinship, who had worked as a film editor on TLC shows including Jon & Kate Plus Eight, was arrested on October 21, 2011 for child pornography, Figure Eight attempted to minimize their association with Blankenship by stating he worked for a subcontractor.  Unlike Figure Eight, when JJ Abrams found out he had a registered sex offender working on his film, he said:  "It's shocking and it's devastating, not just as a filmmaker but as a father and someone who is entrusted to make sure that everyone I work with, especially children, are safe," Abrams said. "To think that someone like this was among us is unthinkable." 

His two CDs on Super 8 also talked to the LA Times, as did a talent agency executive. They were all shocked. No one wants to work with a registered sex offender. No one wants to send kids to an audition with a registered sex offender. 

Unlike TLC, who said nothing, Paramount is going to start background checks.  "Moving forward, we...will also conduct background checks on all freelance employees, full time and part time, who work with minors on our productions." 

Fox is conducting an internal investigation.  "We have only just learned of this information;  we take it extremely seriously and have commenced an immediate investigation." 

There is no advocacy organization for reality TV children. In the Blankinship case, Kate Gosselin's only response was to twitter that she had never heard of him. Jon Gosselin remembered meeting him several times, and hired a lawyer to find out if the NC authorities had evidence that Blankinship had footage of the children.  Jon said "Any parent would be freaked out by this."  In our opinion Jon was the only one who had a normal reaction. 

"They're just freaking out," said Anne Henry, co-founder of ParentBiz Foundation, a nonprofit support group for parents whose children work in the entertainment industry, who "spent the morning dealing with frantic parents worried that Murphy might have been alone with their children during casting sessions and could have obtained photos or videotapes of them." is calling for fingerprinting and background checks for anyone working with minors.  Paul Petersen, former child star and the director of A Minor Consideration, a non-profit organization comprised of 600 former child stars, is backing them.

It should be noted that Murphy is cooperating with the police, and so far there is no evidence that he has done anything wrong. He is being investigated but there is no known reason for an arrest thus far. 

According to the anonymous TV producer interviewed in Jon & Kate Plus Eight:  "Reality" TV & the Selling of the Gosselins, one of the advantages of producing reality TV are the lowered production costs due to not having to adhere to union rules that protect children.  And as we all know, none of the Figure 8, Discovery, or TLC crew, including crafts services or catering, had to undergo criminal background checks or child abuse clearances prior to working with the eight.  This, despite that fact that the children were often left alone in various combinations with crew members, sometimes is isolated areas such as bathrooms, bedrooms or outdoors.  As a film editor, William Blankinship had access to many hours of film of the Gosselin children.  It is unknown at this time what the film Blankenship edited contained, or if he made any of it available to his pedophile network for any of their personal use or for profit.  TLC has made no mention of instituting child abuse clearances and background checks for their employees or subcontractors who have access to children, despite the simple process and low costs involved. 

An editor on a bunch of reality shows that feature kids is arrested for child porn and there's little or no comment from anyone. Not the network, barely a comment from the producer's company, and only a tweet from Kate Gosselin, who seemed to think that because Blankenship had never met her kids in person it wasn't her problem.  For the Gosselin children, there was only the dad and a couple of bloggers. 

Todd Bridge's mother, actress Betty A. Bridges, is trying to get the unions to screen their employees. Some IA locals do - for example, sound gets background checks because they have to touch actors when they're micing them. CDs are Teamsters and so far their local is saying screening is the employer's responsibility.  Our hope is that talent agencies, SAG/AFTRA, and the CDs themselves will start putting pressure on the local to screen CDs. 

That won't matter to reality TV kids, though. Almost all basic cable reality shows are non-union.

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Article first published as Reality TV Kids Have No Legal Protection From Pedophiles on Technorati.





Are You a Reality TV Viewer? Hollywood Calls You a “Consumer”

Our sometime guest blogger Mickey McKean found an interesting book review by Spencer Pratt, former cast member of the MTV reality show The Hills, in which he discusses reality TV as a calculated money making machine. Please read the entire thing at the link provided above, and meanwhile here are some of his observant bon mots about how celebrities make money by being famous, or to look at it from another angle, how people become famous celebs to make money. Either way, whether he's discussing the Kardashians or Speidi, Pratt makes it clear it's got nothing to do with reality.

The public has been on to Kim and her momager Kris Jenner for awhile now. I'm sure they know how every move they've made in Kim's life has been part of a money-making strategy...For example, look at Kim's millions of Twitter followers. She pretends they're part of her extended family, but after her divorce announcement when all anyone wanted to know about was her relationship, she only tweeted about her store appearances. There's a reason for this. Kim tweets to promote herself. She'll do that for free. Talking about her personal life? That'll cost you.


When I was manipulating the media for profit I was blatantly obvious about my attention-seeking antics, with the goal of making money off stories and photos. I never thought I was putting one over on the audience/viewer/reader. ...Speidi was the obvious fame loving duo...everyone making significant money in Hollywood is doing everything Speidi did in the past -- only they do it in secret. We made our money the same way everyone in Hollywood makes money, we just never tried to cover it up.


...All major stars have photo deals with photo agencies and sell these photographs along with strategically manufactured stories that are all timed with the launch or release of a book, film, TV show, fragrance or product. Every story you consume about Hollywood has a purpose and that purpose is to make money for the celebrity.


...there are no coincidences in Tinseltown. It's no coincidence that Kris Jenner had her book tour during the week of her daughter's divorce announcement.