Hi. This is an actual email I sent to that other site last week. Of course, it's too "fair" to be published. Another one is coming shortly. I wasn't sure where to email you. I did change my signature since I decided to stay consistent with other posts.
Serena and Sharla,
I felt compelled to write after lurking here this past week. I've done a lot of reading and thought it would be better to send an email than trying to post a comment - mainly because I wanted to add my two cents on a variety of topics. [Note: Whether you post this, is up to you. I realize it's lengthy.If you do decide to post this, please use my signature below and not my email or company name. Thanks so much. If you need to check who I am, etc.feel free to google me. You can email me if you'd like my maiden name or any additional information.]
I am 39-year-old, married, mother of one. I am employed as a magazine editor and freelance for a variety of publications. Prior to my work in publishing,I was on the other end of the assignment desk, pitching story ideas to the media - local and national. And in many crisis situations, I was there helping organizations' directors and managers answer difficult questions they are faced with when disasters strike.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because the old saying "don't believe everything you read in the paper or see on TV," is most definitely true.
TV shows thrive on money from advertisers and sponsors. If you don't like what you are seeing or hearing, turn the TV or radio off (or change the station) and write to the network. I believe I saw a thread here about approaching networks with concerns.
Keep in mind though, with reality TV, post-production can, and will play tricks on the viewer. Case and point - mommy putting sick child in laundry room and closing the door. We can't blame mommy for complaining about the clean up - anyone who has actually cleaned child vomit out of bedding, cars,etc. can relate to that. Some viewers were upset about moving child to the laundry room. We've read from readers they do similar things. I, as a child,practically lived on the bathroom floor. I guess what gets me most when I read some posts is how "literal" viewers are taking their brief glimpse of mommy's actions - which have been edited from much longer pieces of film.Closing the door and leaving a child to choke or aspirate? Quite dramatic comments. In actuality, there are probably many "non verbals" that are used with reality crews. For example, closing the door from the film crew could be mommy's way of telling the crew to "go away."
Tabloids are trash. Period. Honestly, you shouldn't believe most of what you read in any newspaper or magazine - even those with "journalists." "Secret Sources" are people getting paid for their story - true or untrue.
As far as book deals go - the hype about J's name being added later and now he'll get a piece of the deal, etc., isn't generally how it works. I have recently authored a book and am pitching it to literary agents and publishers. If and when a book deal is signed, it is spelled out who does what and how much they get. An author(s) is typically paid a percentage based on gross sales - and the percentage amount can be increased after a certain amount of books are sold. Here is a great example of a contract.
There is usually some upfront money paid to the author(s) and when the sales bypass that first paid amount, then they begin receiving their royalties(paycheck). When there is more than one author, the percentage is split up.Because this contract was probably written and executed prior to the book being written, my guess would be J&K are getting the originally-agreed upon percentage. B is too. You just don't change a contract after the book is written. Also, there are usually review copies that are sent to media prior to the book's final. I'd bet the reviewers asked why J's name didn't appear and the publisher decided to add it.
As a mother, I worry about my child just like most moms do. I make many mistakes. I have lost my temper with with husband. I can gripe and snipe with the best of them. I work hard for a living and my husband, a police officer, literally puts his life on the line every day for a paycheck. I know how terribly hard those first 8 weeks of life are - the sleep deprivation alone is enough to make anyone crazy. I don't think anyone can imagine that times six. I think parents try to do the best they can do when they can do it. We all make mistakes. Period.
I believe children are exploited everyday, and television is just the tip of the iceberg.
I think this site began and exists with good intentions. It would be awesome to see this blog bring more awareness to child exploitation issues and writing the networks. Has anyone seen Kid Nation or the Baby Borrowers?
I do have to admit, as a mother, I find it very disturbing when people write such nasty comments about people they don't even know. I realize everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am just stating mine. Ultimately, it is the networks making money off of the families they air and the viewers who continue watching the show.
Although we may not agree to all of J & K's parenting techniques (or lack of), we are just seeing a tiny glimpse of their home life. We should continue to remind ourselves that it is TV.
No matter how much a parent makes mistakes, we are still mommy and daddy to our children. No child should ever have to read what is posted on the internet about what others don't like about their parents. And, in the end,when these children mature, they will decide for themselves who they will and will not share their lives with. The written word never goes away.Please be mindful of this when you decide what should and should not be posted here.
Hope to hear from you.
This is my second email to that other site:
Thanks for your reply. I saw your post about writing the production company. Honestly, the production company could receive millions of complaints from folks around the world and do nothing. It is the network and sponsors/advertisers that need to written with true concerns, not "I can't believe they are getting an 8,000sf home," etc. Perhaps someone here could come up with a couple of good form letters that readers can download and use. They will never take hate mail seriously, although something can be said of well written, thought out, concern letters. Figure 8 is hired by the network (it's possible they are partly-owned by the network, I have not researched that yet). The network, in turn, "sells" it to the advertisers and makes their money mainly by commercials. And, ultimately, it's the viewers who keep everybody in business.
Two questions I would love to see your readers polled with:
1. How would they feel if the G family were only documented every few years like the Duggars - perhaps only 4 - 6 episodes every year?
2. Which episode "jumped the shark"? (definition below) For me it was when Sarah Snow showed up to help K in the kitchen.
[Jumping the shark is a colloquialism used by U.S. TV critics and fans to denote that point in a TV show or movie series' history where the plot veers off into ridiculous story lines or out-of-the-ordinary characterizations, undergoing too many changes to retain the original appeal of the series. Shows that have "jumped the shark" are typically deemed to have passed their peak as after this point critical fans can point to a noticeable decline in the show's overall quality.]
And, finally this is the third email:
After I hit the send button, this thought came. Have you ever asked readers/viewers what they could stand instead of what they can't stand? And - answers with no sarcasm.
The griping and sniping won't change, annoying as it can be. Parenting skills and styles won't change, although kind suggestions could go far.
Sponsorships and contrived episodes could change. Children being photographed naked could end. Cameras in bedrooms could end.
I think these thoughtful answers could be strong beginnings to letters and campaigns to the networks.
Just my two cents,