Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is It Exploitation?

A lot of what is written online about the Gosselins, pro and con, is extremely trivial in nature. There are those that claim to be concerned about the Gosselin children but spend a lot of their online time engaging in discussions about Kate's appearance, Jon's testicles, and every aspect of the Gosselins' parenting style. And that's before you even get to the rumors.

While all those things may be entertaining and interesting to talk and read about, even I, a fairly pro-Gosselin poster, agree that there are real issues worthy of discussion at the heart of Jon & Kate Plus Eight. I'd like this to be a jumping off point for a hopefully thoughtful and civil discussion that does not focus on the petty issues, assigning blame or castigating anyone. What we'd like to hear is from you is this: do you think the Gosselin children are being exploited? Why or why not?


Please, no anonymous posting. Anonymous posts will be rejected. It makes it too hard to respond to people. Please pick a name and stay with it.

72 comments:

SKYE said...

I tried posting this numerous times over at GWoP and they refuse to post this. I even emailed one of the mods and she told me she sees nothing wrong with with it and she would have posted it. Can anyone here help me out?

I have a few questions if anyone can answer.

When did Jon stop working for Bob? Also if Jon wouldn't have announced it on the show would anyone know he ever worked for Bob?

Why did Jodi wait until she was not on the show anymore to come out with such strong feelings against this show? While filming in her own home at the time was ok, but now she feels the kids are being exploited.

With all the negative publicity that has been coming out over the past few months why are shows still having them on? They are not getting anything out of it other then ratings maybe.

Who here is apart of the Neilson Family? If you stopped watching because you do not want to contribute to ratings they don't matter.

------------------------

Im sorry this is off topic but I wanted the most answers possible.

A Mom-ynous said...

I honestly do not believe it fits the scope of the definition of "exploitation".

I feel it falls through the cracks though in law as it is definitely entertainment that is profited from and should be included in the law.

I do not feel the kids privacy is "violated" to the degree that folks are conveying. Things are shown that if it was our family and us being filmed, we wouldn't allow it.

I think most details should remain private as far as payment, medical, and schooling. That is between the state and the family.

Not us--them having a show is completely irrelevant to the publics need to have these details.

It is not exploitation to have the cameras follow the kids to the doctors office--at 4--they can say no and be respected.

This is not the Truman show--and the way folks are crying exploitation...makes me wonder if they really believe that the children don't breath a second without the cameras.

The family is being documented in a documentary full time. I feel that is a parents right to make that decision for their family and feel that this should not be legislated away. (IOW made illegal.)

And I think the advocacy folks have jumped the shark. But I will still read their words as I am interested in their perspective as it is interesting to say the least.

There are many "jobs" that families do together that have the family making income together as a family. Farming, family bands, pastors...many many things. Sure one can point out statistics blah blah blah..but much of this is protected by law anyway.

IOW--if the kids aren't using heavy machinery or other specifically legislated dangerous equipment, then it is legal that they pariticpate in a family business.

It really is no different than farming where a child can be made to help milk the cows at 5am or sow the seeds for harvest.

It is not illegal to have a family business and have all the family help generate the income in some way.

And I don't think it should be--b/c it is an arm of parental decision making and doing what is best for the family.

I think it should have some legal monitoring but that is about it. It is fair for the children to not be overworked and having things such as their education compromised.

(but I am done over the petty school marms keeping Mady and Cara's attendance by keeping tally of trips!!!!! At least have knowledge of the attendance law for pete's sake!!)

A Mom-ynous said...

"When did Jon stop working for Bob? Also if Jon wouldn't have announced it on the show would anyone know he ever worked for Bob?"

I'm not sure anyone truly knows the answer.

But I saw a re-run of winter prep (needed my IKEA fix lol!). The show is copyrighted 2008, so this had to have been filmed in the fall of 2007. So about 1 year ago is when he switched to working for Bob. (using logic, I do not have first hand knowledge of the timeline).

"Why did Jodi wait until she was not on the show anymore to come out with such strong feelings against this show? While filming in her own home at the time was ok, but now she feels the kids are being exploited."

IMO, I am not sure Jodi ever did. Allegedly her sister did. Jodi did the video that said everything Julie said on her blog was true..but that was it. I'm not sure Jodi is on the exploitation bandwagon--especially now that she allegedly requested the removal of everything affiliated with her off of Julie's site.

And if she felt it was exploitation--I don't know how someone can watch and participate in WRONG just so they can be with the kids. I mean if I was a druggy--my mom wouldn't watch the kids while I went and harvest our marijuana plants. She'd probably turn me in..not play along.

So it doesn't seem logical that Jodi was ever against it. The gum incident and all other specified incidents just happened late 2007 early 2008...the sudden turn of events on the exploitation train are actually rather recent in the children's 4 year life. Logic tells me that editing had a lot to do with it.

Who wants to watch a show of a pleasantly happy mom of 8 kids where everything is always perfect?

Just like Survivor--they can edit each contestant to be a villain or a hero/heroine or an idiot.

Ever see the shining movie trailer? I saw a clip of it once where they re-edited the sound track. And instead of sounding like a scary movie, it sounded like a happy movie about a family going on vacation. Editing is very powerful in conveying the desired story.

"With all the negative publicity that has been coming out over the past few months why are shows still having them on? " Not to put the Gosselines in the same sentence as Hollywood's A-list...but often, when there is bad press, you counter it with good press and you ignore the bad stuff and convey the good stuff. And depending on how it goes, you address the bad only when needed.

I think the folks on the bad bandwagon--are actually rather small in number but with very loud voices.



Interesting questions--that is my take on the answers. :)

Nina Bell said...

Sky,
I really don't have the answers to any of your questions and I really don't want this thread to get off topic. I do want to say though that it appears the postive publicity far out weighs the negative publicity at this point.

SamanthaNC said...

I think the term exploited is thrown around too much. With the exception of Paul Peterson (and I think he's over doing it) none of the people who claim to be advocates for the children are advocating anything other than their own hatred for people they don't like. Its personal, it's petty, and its hateful. Yes I think there should filming limitations, and yes I think they should stop if at any point it becomes a detriment to the children -or if they no longer want to do it. I think its obvious that the G's love their children and anything to the contrary is merely a personal attack based on personal dislike...

Saint said...

Here's the best I can come up with:
Is it exploitation? It was when they showed all those meltdowns, private parts/potty/bath scenes. Is it now? Maybe, but probably not.

I know it was unwise to have filmed the ridiculous snarking and dramatics of last season. I am concerned for too many hours of filming; but who knows how many are too much, or how many they actually do?

I know I wouldn't do this to myself, my marriage, or my children. I probably would have started it with specials, though, for the money and the experience.

I see them respecting the twins as they get older, which is good. It could be worse (it has been worse.)

It's really nice to have 2 parents home, working on product endorsements, books, speaking schedules. It's also great that they are rich now. I'd LOVE to take those trips with my kids.

It is NOT child abuse. It may be exploitation, but that can be improved with an on-site advocate for the children, privacy areas, a limited filming schedule. I just don't want to commit to calling it exploitation anymore. I think they are really trying. I give them a lot of credit for that. I don't know why that hasn't been the theme of all the blogs lately.

calebsmom said...

Exploiting means to make the use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage. I guess it all depends how we look at things that Jon and Kate do.

I do not like the potty chair/bath tub scenes. That is something that should remain private. There are to many weird people out there that might "get off" by seeing that stuff. I like the show but I think that they should not allow certain things on national television. Nothing lasts forever, so who knows how long their show will be on TLC.

indianprincess said...

I don't think Jon and Kate are exploiting their children more then the mother who puts her childs baby photo in a contest online where strangers can see them or when a mother puts her child in fashion shows or talent contest where money is involved. What about the parent who pushes their child to practice for the Olypmics at age 6? How do they know it's the kids dream for the olypmics or the parents who know if their child becomes first they will have millions. Every family wants the best for their children and does that mean it's considered exploitation?

Skye said...

GWoP finally posted my questions after 5 attempts and having to give out my email. (Which they SO kindly kept on the post.I kinda posted anon for a reason.)
Nina if you want to delete my first post I can repost it in the open discussion. I would like you guys opinion too.

Nina Bell said...

I won't delete it because someone responded to it but feel free to re post it in open discussion.

Skye said...

Indianprincess,
I feel the same way you do. I think a good portion of child actors are being "exploited"

At least the Gosselin kids dont have to go to a bunch of casting calls being rejected who knows how many times.You can hardly say they are working when they film doing something they were already going to do anyways. The only "work" I see them doing is having to look cute when on a talk show of some sort.

Guinevere said...

I agree that exploitation is too harsh and loaded of a word to use to describe the Gosselins' situation. I know that some viewers believe that Jon and Kate are making money "off of the back of their children", but I think that they have made what they believe to be the best decisions for their family as a whole. I haven't seen any evidence that it's about them being lazy or greedy or anything else particularly negative. So I don't think the word "exploitative" fits.

Of course, I think then there can still be a discussion about whether the Gosselins are *right*. My personal opinion is that it's impossible to say. They are giving up certain things (privacy, "normalcy" - as much as a family with sextuplets could be normal, anyway) in exchange for financial security, opportunities they would not otherwise have, and the chance to both be around more than the average working parent can be. I understand the choice they've made, even if it would not have been my choice (I like my anonymity, thanks).

In some ways, I don't think they are that different from other parents who make choices for their families based on weighing pros and cons. But at the same time, their situation is pretty unique, and I don't think most of the comparisons we make are that analogous (in either direction. The kids are not the Dionne quintuplets - not by a long shot. But they also aren't exactly the same as kids working on the family farm for a few hours each day).

I think one the things that influences my viewpoint is that in spite of all the dire predictions about the future, carping over the kids getting teased and nitpicking over signs on doors, I am not seeing any real evidence at this point that this is harmful to them. I can't see into the future, but neither can anyone else.

Bottom line for me: it's not exploitation, and if it's not, then it falls into the category of being the parents' decision, just as would be the case with any parents.

ductapeovermouth said...

To exploit:
1. To employ to the greatest possible advantage: exploit one's talents.
2. To make use of selfishly or unethically: a country that exploited peasant labor. See Synonyms at manipulate.
3. To advertise; promote.

(From FreeDictionary.com)

I think the Jon and Kate are being exploitive. I don't think the kids are being abused, but I don't think their parents are acting in their best interest either.

I don't think Jon and Kate are exploiting their children more then the mother who puts her childs baby photo in a contest online where strangers can see them or when a mother puts her child in fashion shows or talent contest where money is involved.

Most of these types of parents don't quit their jobs so their children become the main bread winners.

What about the parent who pushes their child to practice for the Olypmics at age 6? How do they know it's the kids dream for the olypmics or the parents who know if their child becomes first they will have millions.

Most of these parents make great sacrifices for their children, often being separated from one another so the child can train under the best coach. These children usually have shown extreme aptitude for their craft.

Very few people are interested in Jon and Kate. The kids are the reason people watch. When you say "we'll quit when the kids want to" - it's a crock. What 4 year old can make that decision? (Besides, who's the parent?)Children want to please their parents, how do you think that question is presented to the kids? "If we stop the show, Mommy and Daddy can't stay home with you. We can't go on trips and do fun things anymore." Whether people want to see it or not, Cara and Maddy need a break. This show has never even been on "hiatus". The tups? They need their privacy. The shot of Aaden throwing away his pull up was gratuitous, along with the other potty shots.

I don't see how people believe that Jon and Kate need this show. There's nothing wrong with working. They were doing it before, I don't see what has changed. I think they are being selfish because maybe before, it was difficult, but it was doable. Just seems like they could have done something, anything instead of putting the children on display.

They took the easy road, time will tell if they made the right decision.

IMO.

nomoredrama said...

The definition is so subjective. Who determines what is selfish and unethical? The parents? The network? The viewers?

You think it's selfish and unethical to have a reality show...film young kids, what have you. Ok. But who get's the authority?

Ductape, you asked me at one point why we DON'T think the kids are being exploited. Though I feel I've answered this several times I'll answer again. There is no evidence that the children are not benefiting financially from the show and media coverage.

If the children play a role in future financial security, if they are being treated properly (and their wishes respected), if the parents are attentive to their needs, I don't buy exploitation.

Exploitation, to me, is when the needs of the child are pushed to the side to advance the well-being of the parent. We have no evidence that their needs are not being met. The other type of exploitation (sexual exploitation) is clearly not going on here so I'll leave that out.

Do the children have friends? Do they get time to participate in developmentally appropriate activities? Are they in distress? I'd say Cara and Mady have been showing signs of tiring of the spotlight. Guess what, we see Cara and Mady less and less on episodes.

Kind of points to the fact that their needs are taken into account and their wishes respected. If the child is choosing to be filmed, is it still exploitative?

If you say yes, or that a child is not old enough to make this choice (and I see where you're coming from) then you have to think about all children involved in entertainment and reality TV.

I'm rambling...I'll try to clarify later.

scarymerry said...

I have no problem with children working in a family business. I have no problem with children working in entertainment. I feel sorry for some of the kids with the wild stage moms. The Gosselins' fit somewhere in between. I think exploitation is too harsh a word. I don't think J&K are living like royalty off the souls of their children. It's because of the children that the family has noteriety, but that's just a fact. That doesn't mean J&K are using the children, it's just because of them.

I didn't even want my mother talking about me to her friends let only having them see my fits on tv. My friends would have never let me live this down. That's how it was in my childhood ages ago. The children have had all this decided for them and it will always be a part of their lives. I think they deserve to have a private childhood. I can't imagine inviting the public into my daily life.

I'm pretty sure J&K were just looking for security in an overwhelming situation. I also think there's no way they could have foreseen becoming such a hit and all the perks and downfalls that go with it.
I do think they should end the show now and give their children some privacy. These children will ever be able to play in a neighbor's yard safely without having to have some sort of security. They're famous and vulnerable children. There's a definite trade-off for the financial security.

merryway said...

Oh BTW, Do I think Jon & Kate are exploited by TLC? Yes.

Daisy said...

ductape said:

"Most of these types of parents don't quit their jobs so their children become the main bread winners."

Jon was working outside the home when the show started. There's no way J&K could have known the show would go beyond the first season. Jon quit his job as a result of the shows popularity, not because they wanted their kids to be the main bread winners.

I don't think they are exploiting their children. Jon & Kate didn't loose their parental or US citizen rights because they have a tv show. What is best for their children is their decision, not people that watch them on tv and don't know them.

roy said...

"Jon was working outside the home when the show started. There's no way J&K could have known the show would go beyond the first season. Jon quit his job as a result of the shows popularity, not because they wanted their kids to be the main bread winners."

If, as you say, Jon quit his job as a result of the show's popularity then it follows that the children became the main breadwinners.
Because without an adult working and bringing in a paycheck, the show that is focusing on the children and is only on TV because of the children, is supporting the entire family.

I would like to note that the efforts Kate is making to become a spokesperson on her own that take the burden off the show and the children are a great step in the right direction.

Nina Bell said...

Roy,

Would you say that the Osmond children were the primary bread winners also for their family? Just wondering.

Guinevere said...

Most of these types of parents don't quit their jobs so their children become the main bread winners.

Neither have Jon and Kate. They consider the show their job. Kate has said that she doesn't like having the cameras there, so I don't think she's doing it for the fun of it. Furthermore, they make personal appearances and Kate wrote a book - aren't all of these things "work"?

Most of these parents make great sacrifices for their children, often being separated from one another so the child can train under the best coach. These children usually have shown extreme aptitude for their craft.

It seems like you're determined to make J&K uniquely villainous. I think there are a lot of stage parents out there - either entertainment- or sports-related - who are a lot more exploitative of their children than J&K are.

Very few people are interested in Jon and Kate. The kids are the reason people watch.

This is an opinion, not a factual statement. You can say that YOU watch for the kids; you can't speak for anyone else. Personally, I watch for the whole family, and I happen to think that while most people very much enjoy the kids (except for the GWoPpers who complain that they "aren't even cute anymore"), a lot of the audience finds the parents interesting too. I think the fact that people talk about them so damn much is testament to that.

When you say "we'll quit when the kids want to" - it's a crock. What 4 year old can make that decision? (Besides, who's the parent?)

I think that all they are saying is that if the kids expressed that they didn't want to do the show, it would stop. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. I think it's simply a statement indicating that they ARE taking their kids' feelings into consideration. I think it's appropriate for parents of 8- and 4-year olds to make the decisions but listen to what their kids have to say on a number of issues.

Children want to please their parents, how do you think that question is presented to the kids? "If we stop the show, Mommy and Daddy can't stay home with you. We can't go on trips and do fun things anymore." Whether people want to see it or not, Cara and Maddy need a break.

It's simply your assumption that this is how it's presented to them. I think Cara and MADY have been given something of a "break" - they've been on camera less lately. It's not a matter of "whether people want to see it or not", anyway, because you have no factual basis for expressing that opinion. It's just how you feel, and that's fine, but don't confuse it with a fact.

I don't see how people believe that Jon and Kate need this show. There's nothing wrong with working. They were doing it before, I don't see what has changed. I think they are being selfish because maybe before, it was difficult, but it was doable. Just seems like they could have done something, anything instead of putting the children on display.

They took the easy road, time will tell if they made the right decision.


I think they are working; just because it's not the work that you think they should be doing, doesn't make it not work. Nor does it necessarily make it the "easy road".

I don't mean to come across as picking apart everything that you are saying, but IMO you are expressing a lot of strong opinions as if they are incontrovertible facts, and they just aren't.

CeeCee said...

I think the posters at GWOP like to say that it's exploitation (maybe it is and maybe it isn't) but I think GWOP posters just like to snark because Kate and Jon are such easy targets (Kate especially).

I can see the point many of them make that Kate's hair style is silly but I wouldn't waste endless posts commenting on it, as they do. Or about what she wears. Or anything else regarding personal appearance.

My feeling is that many people don't like Kate and Jon and so they feel it's o.k. to comment about every aspect of their lives under the pretence of being concerned about the children.

Laura said...

Are the Gosselin children being exploited? That is an easy question…YES they are. They are being exploited by people like Julie (Aunt Jodi’s Sister), and other “child advocates” like Mr. Paul Peterson. Those people are using the children for their own personal gain…Paul’s to bring attention to his cause, and Julie to get some sick revenge at Kate. By speaking out the way they do on their high horses they are doing no good whatsoever and are only causing harm by making the children out to be victims of something. The facts are simple…Jon and Kate signed on to doing this TLC show and never imagined it would become so huge. Now that it has, they are taking advantage of the fact and are getting to be two stay at home parents to their lovely brood of kids. If I could have had both of my parents home with me everyday throughout my childhood I would look back on that as have being so lucky and blessed. Ten years from now when sextuplets and twins are teenagers, I think (and hope) they will look back on this experience the same way. They shouldn’t feel embarrassed about the things they did/said as toddlers and children, because being a child is nothing to be ashamed of! Which brings me back to the “exploitation” being done by those like Julie and Paul, by pointing fingers at Kate and Jon all the while victimizing all eight of the Gosselin children by speaking as though they are doomed for failure in life due to their moment in time on a hit TLC show, they perhaps are causing the most damage that is to be done. Maybe if they stop to smell the roses, these so-called “advocates” can take a fresh look at the Gosselin family and see the children as they really are; blessed beyond their means both from within and without.

FIONA said...

Skye,

Much of the negative, if not all has originated from a blog and a bitter SIL, Julie.

I wonder too why Jodi did not come forward sooner...even her kids were filmed and her little daughter in her unnawears.

Excellant point-who watches a TV program they HATE??? Who does that?

Just to pick a part of human being. I don't care if she has weird hair. The people who say such mean and unkind things about Jon and Kate are obviously very unhappy and sad people in their own life.

Laura said...

Oh yeah, and just for the record, I do commend Paul Peterson for his cause. However I feel as though he should be focusing his attention to Hollywood’s working children, those who are actually WORKING and growing up without the stability of a normal family life. So Paul, if you read this, go out there and be an advocate for the kids out there in hollywood right now so there are no more fates like that of Anissa Jones’ and Brad Renfro’s!

FIONA said...

(except for the GWoPpers who complain that they "aren't even cute anymore"),
---

And they are very mich targeted in the last recap from Hannah should get lice in her her to Aaden still being in a pull-up...and the mods allow it. That is so wrong on so many levels.

FIONA said...

Oh BTW, Do I think Jon & Kate are exploited by TLC? Yes.

October 30, 2008 7:08 AM

---
If J and K are being exploited, then the only ones they have to blame would be themsleves. And BTW, I don't think the parent's are, the kids, yea...but they are not mine to raise.

FIONA said...

Laura,

I think PP definitly has a role in the reality industry and nothing but good for the G kids could come from him getting involved. I think the entire family could benefit from limited hours, teacher on set, trusts, etc....

The only bag thing PP did was use 2 hate blogs as part of his "evidence". JMO

NotAPerfectMom said...

When Jon and Kate got the opportunity to do this show, I think they took it without considering potential consequences. I'm sure it seemed like a dream come true- have your family memories professionally preserved, and get paid for it! However, the success of the show has brought up issues that I believe were never considered by the parents when they began this venture. Some of those issues are ones that are brought up by anti-Gosselin posters, such as: are the kids working? If so, do they have protections? What is the potential fall-out for them from the "fame" brought on by the show? I think these are questions worthy of concern.

However, I think some of the "privacy" issues are silly. For example, the outcry over Aaden throwing away his pull-up on this week's show. How is that embarrassing? Why do the anti-Gosselin posters have a fixation with urine and vomit? These are natural occurrences and I don't think they are the least bit embarrassing.

Additionally, I don't see the "freebies" as an issue, either. That's the way that advertising works: companies compensate shows and the people on them for the chance to have their products/services seen by a wider audience. To me, this is a viable way to make money, and the Gosselins are certainly not the only family to take advantage of the opportunity. If they have managed to make their living by it, more power to them.

The whole thing is truly a grey area. Reality TV being a fairly new phenomenon, they are actually setting precedent for the future. Given that, I would be pleased to see them taking proactive steps to make sure that their children are protected from the corporate culture, but I do not believe that their children need protection from them.

Lastly, what's with the "Katie Irene" thing? That is just so disrespectful.

ductapeovermouth said...

I don't mean to come across as picking apart everything that you are saying, but IMO you are expressing a lot of strong opinions as if they are incontrovertible facts, and they just aren't.

Guinevere, my whole post was my opinion. Notice the IMO at the bottom of the post?

No one has FACT on anything. We can guess, we use past precedence, rationalize, what have you.

If you think I am villainizing the Gosselins from the things I have said, that I want to say that you excuse most, if not all of their behavior. Yes - you have a right to, so don't fault others for having a different opinion.

NMD did state that I sent her an e-mail saying how is any of this NOT EXPLOITATION? I can't think of any reason why the Gosselins went this route other than financial.

Can you give me any reasons how this show would benefit them emotionally, mentally?

Guinevere said...

Can you give me any reasons how this show would benefit them emotionally, mentally?

Having your parents around rather than working around the clock to support you is an emotional and mental benefit, I think. The financial security benefits the kids in ways that I don't think they are even aware of - obviously, their standard of living is better, and not having parents who are stressed over unpaid bills is a benefit, as well. I remember vividly times as a kid that I was aware of my mom being worried over paying a bill or buying groceries (and we weren't poor, merely lower middle class, but we definitely had a paycheck-to-paycheck existence).

No, money isn't everything, but I think sometimes the anti-Gosselin posters romanticize poverty and hardscrabble existence: "We didn't have much, but we had love..." - that's all well and good, but it's hard to be poor.

I think there are other possible benefits of being in the public eye - time will tell. It may help give the kids poise and confidence. That's just speculation - obviously, I don't know for sure. But so are the dire predictions speculation. There are plenty of stories of Hollywood kids who took a wrong turn and ended up in trouble. But, 1) I don't think that the Dana Platos and Brad Renfros are the majority, by any means; 2) it's impossible to determine what part fame played in these peoples' troubles - I would guess it was a factor for many of them, but not the only factor and 3) the Gosselin children *aren't* actors, with the pressure to get roles, be cute, etc., or with the fast life that is so available in L.A.

The fact is, none of us know how these kids will turn out, whether they'll regret their time on the show or appreciate it. I don't see the show as a purely positive thing - all of the hate blogs are testament to that - but I understand the choice the Gosselins have made when weighing the pros and cons.

FortDixMom said...

However, I think some of the "privacy" issues are silly. For example, the outcry over Aaden throwing away his pull-up on this week's show. How is that embarrassing? Why do the anti-Gosselin posters have a fixation with urine and vomit? These are natural occurrences and I don't think they are the least bit embarrassing.

At age four, most children are potty trained. A lot of kids wear pull ups at night, but a lot don't. This is embarrassing because Aaden will be forever known as still having to wear a pull up at night. Collin will be forever known as having a poop stuck in his heiney. Hannah will be forever known for "Hannah pooped in her unnawears". Joel will be forever known for his lisp and for calling himself a girl and so on and so forth. All of these little foibles immortalized for all to see... over and over again.

Kids are cruel, adults are too. I just can't imagine subjecting your children to this. No amount of money is worth my children's dignity.

calebsmom said...

To notaperfectmom,

The privacy issues are very important. Privacy is meant for a reason and that should be protected by the parents. There are weird people in the world that get satisfaction from seeing that kind of stuff. There are sexual predators everywhere now a days. As far as the pull-ups issue, why did the camera man have to focus on that? Sure there's nothing wrong with Aaden wearing a pull-up, but to put it in the public's eye, wasn't right. Calling Kate "Katie Irene" isn't disrespectful, that is her name. What is disrespectful is Kate constantly smacking Jon. The kids watch the reruns (Kate has mentioned this) and seeing their mom doing this to their dad isn't right. Kate and Jon are always telling the kids not to hit each other. I bet the kids are confused.

MonicaW42 said...

This is in response to the comments that kids are cruel. True, but to be honest....I have never seen such cruel, vile, hurtful comments as I have this week on a blog in regards to those children by a "Supposed Adult". An advocate no less. I would rather take my chances on the playground with a school bully than the "what" wrote that recap this week.

Guinevere said...

Calling Kate "Katie Irene" isn't disrespectful, that is her name.

It's disrespectful in a similar way to "Barack Hussein Obama" is disrespectful. Because it's meant to be - it's meant to be contempuous. I don't even really understand the point of "Katie Irene", except that ooh, look, we're insiders who know Kate's middle name. Big whoop. But it is absolutely disrespectful, because disrespect is the obvious intent behind it.

This is embarrassing because Aaden will be forever known as still having to wear a pull up at night. Collin will be forever known as having a poop stuck in his heiney. Hannah will be forever known for "Hannah pooped in her unnawears". Joel will be forever known for his lisp and for calling himself a girl and so on and so forth. All of these little foibles immortalized for all to see... over and over again.

Do you have any embarrassing childhood moments? If so, is that all you're known for among the people who are aware of these moments? I think it takes some pretty narrow tunnel vision to see the Gosselin kids this way. Sure, some day a woman will be in love with Aaden, but just won't be able to accept his marriage proposal, because she will not be able to stand the shame of being Mrs. Once was Seen on TV Putting a Pull-up in The Garbage Can on a cable television show.

calebsmom said...

To guinevere,

Every child has embarrassing moments in their life, but not on a cable television show. When he goes to regular school kids are going to make fun of him and hurt his feelings. Aaden seems like he's a little slower that the other tups, but I just love him. In fact, he's my favorite. I'm still trying to figure out why the camera man felt like he needed to tape that as part of the show. When adults get their feelings hurt, we deal with it and get on with our life, but kids dwell on it for a long time.

roy said...

"Would you say that the Osmond children were the primary bread winners also for their family? Just wondering."

Yes, I would. However, the children in that family worked under guidelines and restrictions of various venues (television studios and union rules for the same) and received tutoring while working and touring.
So, while the children in each family are or were breadwinners, the situations are not the same.

As someone noted above, reality television is a new and "gray" area and for that deserves a critical examination of the benefits or pitfalls for children involved in it.

Guinevere said...

When he goes to regular school kids are going to make fun of him and hurt his feelings.

That happens to all kids, regardless of whether they are on television or not. I don't think pull-ups at four are such an embarrassing or shameful thing that they needed to be censored from the cameras.

As someone noted above, reality television is a new and "gray" area and for that deserves a critical examination of the benefits or pitfalls for children involved in it.

I think that's something almost all of us agree on, if not necessarily on the all of the details or the parameters of such an examination.

CeeCee said...

A poster asked "Lastly, what's with the Katie Irene thing? That is just so disrespectful."

I am far from an expert on GWOP but I believe Kate's real name was said to actually be Katie and Irene is supposed to be her middle name.

I assume the GWOP posters who use it think it's a funny name and that's why they use it so frequently.

NotAPerfectMom said...

This is embarrassing because Aaden will be forever known as still having to wear a pull up at night. Collin will be forever known as having a poop stuck in his heiney. Hannah will be forever known for "Hannah pooped in her unnawears". Joel will be forever known for his lisp and for calling himself a girl and so on and so forth. All of these little foibles immortalized for all to see... over and over again.

All children have accidents in their underwear, get constipated, etc. No, not all do it on TV, true. However, I don't see that this is necessarily just an opportunity for ridicule. In the glass-half-full perspective, they are an inspiration so that these very common things are seen as normal and cute and NOT a reason for ridicule!

We all have moments. They aren't the end of the world for any of us, no matter how many people see them. The truth is, they help us to develop a sense of humor about ourselves and a thicker skin to handle life's realties.

Anya said...

calebsmom said...Every child has embarrassing moments in their life, but not on a cable television show. When he goes to regular school kids are going to make fun of him and hurt his feelings. Aaden seems like he's a little slower that the other tups, but I just love him. In fact, he's my favorite. I'm still trying to figure out why the camera man felt like he needed to tape that as part of the show. When adults get their feelings hurt, we deal with it and get on with our life, but kids dwell on it for a long time.

I think it's a stretch to say that when the sextuplets go off to school in a year or two that any children their own age will have seen the show and *remember* about the pull-up. I have to be honest here and say I didn't even notice what Aaden was throwing away until I saw bloggers talking about it. When I rewatched that scene, I agreed this was probably (can't say for certain) what he was throwing away. My point is a very small part of the audience is even paying attention to the things the way we are. :-)

I am not denying that the Gosselin kids will get teased. They will get teased for a variety of reasons, no doubt. They already kind of stand out, you know? Luckily, they have a built-in support system and there is strength in numbers. I am not denying at some point they each might hear an unkind remark about the show. Such is life. None of us gets through unscathed.

I agree Aaden is precious. I don't think of him as slower. I think J&K have said that he enjoys playing the part of the baby, however. Understandable.

Anya said...

MonicaW42 said...This is in response to the comments that kids are cruel. True, but to be honest....I have never seen such cruel, vile, hurtful comments as I have this week on a blog in regards to those children by a "Supposed Adult". An advocate no less. I would rather take my chances on the playground with a school bully than the "what" wrote that recap this week.

My feelings exactly. Kids are kids. They haven't developed fully yet and are not capable of consistenly showing good judgment and being mindful of others feelings.

Also, when a adult "picks" on a child, they are on unequal footing.

I really can't get in the mindset of *adults* who find discussions of four-year-olds getting lice and getting their hair chopped off humorous.

Pam said...

This is embarrassing because Aaden will be forever known as still having to wear a pull up at night. Collin will be forever known as having a poop stuck in his heiney. Hannah will be forever known for "Hannah pooped in her unnawears". Joel will be forever known for his lisp and for calling himself a girl and so on and so forth. All of these little foibles immortalized for all to see... over and over again. The huge majority of people in the world will never see any of these shows and of the relatively small number that do, only a very small minority will see them 'over and over again'. (mostly GWOPpers, I think) I really don't see it as an issue. How many 4 year olds could possibly be watching this show? I can't imagine any 4 year old that would be interested enough to watch for 5 minutes- certainly not 'over and over again'. Plus I think the only reason the kids 'might' be known for these things is because people keep talking about it on these silly blogs!

SamanthaNC said...

Guinevere-
"Sure, some day a woman will be in love with Aaden, but just won't be able to accept his marriage proposal, because she will not be able to stand the shame of being Mrs. Once was Seen on TV Putting a Pull-up in The Garbage Can on a cable television show."

LOL That's exactly what I was thinking, as if those moments will define who those children for the rest of their lives, and no one will associate them with anything else. Absurd.

dotsicle said...

Ceecee said: "My feeling is that many people don't like Kate and Jon and so they feel it's o.k. to comment about every aspect of their lives under the pretence of being concerned about the children."

I don't much care for Kate, and Jon is only slightly better IMO, but I have never pretended to be a child advocate. I advocate for nothing; I'm merely an old snarker. Concerned for the children, well sure, but I'm not their parent and whatever I think has no effect whatsoever on the Gosselins. Are the kids exploited? I think so. Will it ever end? Of course. The show can't have that many more "seasons" as they appear to have run out of material.

calebsmom said...

To dotsicle,

I agree with you that the show can't have many more seasons. I'm not sure that I will enjoy watching the show once the tups get bigger. I would like to see holiday specials though, just to see how they have grown and changed.

erin said...

ceecee said "A poster asked "Lastly, what's with the Katie Irene thing? That is just so disrespectful."

I am far from an expert on GWOP but I believe Kate's real name was said to actually be Katie and Irene is supposed to be her middle name.

I assume the GWOP posters who use it think it's a funny name and that's why they use it so frequently."

This actually started a while back because it was discovered that Kate used to be called Katie (might be her given name), and Irene was often used. I think she is called Katie Irene in the wedding video. GWoP thinks it is pretentious that she "changed her name" to Kate, if I recall correctly. It was a big deal, right up there with her desire for a bigger house, correcting everyone's grammar, etc. I had a roommate whose given name was Katie and I called her Kate most of the time, so I guess I was pretentious for that. From what I can gather from past videos, Jon has always called her Kate, not Katie.

fortdixmom said...

We all have moments. They aren't the end of the world for any of us, no matter how many people see them. The truth is, they help us to develop a sense of humor about ourselves and a thicker skin to handle life's realties.

Imagine any one of your "moments" posted on YouTube.

How about your children in Aaden's spot with the pullup - once again on YouTube or someone's DVD shelf.

Still funny?

SamanthaNC said...

fortdixmom -
"How about your children in Aaden's spot with the pullup - once again on YouTube or someone's DVD shelf.

Still funny?"

I don't personally think it's funny- but I do think it's blown way out of proportion- big deal, he threw a pull up away. All children potty train and we all know it, no it's not typically on tv but I don't think these kids are being given enough credit. I honestly don't think Aaden will ever be holed up in his room avoiding social situations bc "someone might remember the pull up. . ." Somehow I think he will escape the pull up incident without being emotionally scarred.

A Mom-ynous said...

"Most of these parents make great sacrifices for their children, often being separated from one another so the child can train under the best coach. These children usually have shown extreme aptitude for their craft.

Very few people are interested in Jon and Kate. The kids are the reason people watch. When you say "we'll quit when the kids want to" - it's a crock. What 4 year old can make that decision? (Besides, who's the parent?)Children want to please their parents, how do you think that question is presented to the kids?"

You just justified essentially Olympic training and then go on to define how the parents manipulate the kids.

It would be naive to assume that all children in training want to be there--but yet you say it is okay b/c the parents are sacrificing for the best for their children.

A Mom-ynous said...

"If, as you say, Jon quit his job as a result of the show's popularity then it follows that the children became the main breadwinners."

That logic is flawed b/c Jon and Kate are active participants in the show. That is like saying Billy Ray Cyrus is profiting off of his breadwinning daughter Miley.

No--they are both active participants in Hannah Montanna. Sure Miley is the pull of the show--but that doesn't mean that she is the breadwinner for everyone.

We don't know the G's personal financial arrangements nor is it really any of our business.

To presume the income generated off of the show goes into the greedy hands of Jon and Kate is simply that--a presumption.

A Mom-ynous said...

"However, I think some of the "privacy" issues are silly. For example, the outcry over Aaden throwing away his pull-up on this week's show. How is that embarrassing?"


I thought this was a non-issue. My kiddos wouldn't hesitate and such a young age to toss something in the trash like a pull up with an audience.

It is those folks who train their kids that it is being a baby to wet their pants...then they go on and poke fun of kids who should be potty trained and aren't. Why? B/c their mom and dad said only babies wet the bed or their pants so then "this kid" must be a baby.

Also--what I find curoius...just b/c Aaden was carrying the diaper, why do we assume that HE was the one who wet the bed? Couldn't he have just been "helping"?

A Mom-ynous said...

"This is embarrassing because Aaden will be forever known as still having to wear a pull up at night. Collin will be forever known as having a poop stuck in his heiney. Hannah will be forever known for "Hannah pooped in her unnawears". Joel will be forever known for his lisp and for calling himself a girl and so on and so forth. All of these little foibles immortalized for all to see... over and over again."


You are giving folks way too much credit.

Why don't you teach your children to not poke fun at children's toileting issues and then it won't be "embarrassing" for the pottying habits of children under age 4.

Part of the problem with children known in the public eye when they try to exist in their private un-recorded lives is the bullying behavior of the folks around them.

Blaming the show is to excuse bullying IMHO.

A Mom-ynous said...

"Calling Kate "Katie Irene" isn't disrespectful, that is her name."

Actually to refer to someone in a manner that suggests disapproval by a name that they do not go buy is rude.

My step-mother has a given name an the name she goes by. You do not call her her given name b/c she doesn't like it and doesn't go by it.

There are only 2 reasons to do this: lack of awareness or just to be rude.

As much as folks "know" about this family--they are kidding themselves if they think it isn't disrespectful to call Kate by that name.

NotAPerfectMom said...

It is those folks who train their kids that it is being a baby to wet their pants...then they go on and poke fun of kids who should be potty trained and aren't. Why? B/c their mom and dad said only babies wet the bed or their pants so then "this kid" must be a baby.

Thank you! That is what I was trying to say! Someone above painted a scenario of Aaden being beat up- I just don't see it. Some people have larger issues with these types of things than others. I personally think that making it seem shameful contributes to the problem. Just my opinion.

A Mom-ynous said...

"When he goes to regular school kids are going to make fun of him and hurt his feelings"

Sounds like their parents and the school would then need to teach manners to these children.

It is ignorant to make parenting decisions based on the ill manners of other people.

Sure--protect them from child predators. But seriously--I shouldn't have a documentary of my family made in the off chance they show my toddler tossing a diaper b/c some brat may call them names in the future.

Please!

A Mom-ynous said...

"Imagine any one of your "moments" posted on YouTube.

How about your children in Aaden's spot with the pullup - once again on YouTube or someone's DVD shelf.

Still funny?"


America's Funniest Vidoes.

'Nuf said.

Jon and Kate are parenting and controlling where their video is seen--on TLC.

And if a video of my bare baby butt happens to show up on You Tube--I don't really care.

And there are tons of moments on You Tube--so your comment doesn't hold water.

I'm not sure their legalities or interest in posting every child video, but at least TLC is under much more strict guidelines as to what they can and cannot show for a tv show even if what they show is above your level of comfort for what they should show.

enablingisfun said...

America's Funniest Vidoes.

'Nuf said.


Ok, I get it, it's ok because you are getting paid.

Kikibee said...

I don't think the kids will be "forever known" for any particular thing except by people who read all the blogs, some of whom obsess and nitpick about every little thing. I'd bet a lot of the viewers of the show still have trouble telling the kids apart, let alone remembering who did what.

And if little kids want to make fun of someone they will find a reason in real life. I don't think they are going to look through their dvds or watch reruns thinking "oh look Aaden has a pull-up, Joel's whining, I'm gonna bug them about that at school tomorrow". Because when they get to school some other kid is going to have an accident or eat a crayon and throw up and that's what the kids will be talking about.

dotsicle said...

"Calling Kate "Katie Irene" isn't disrespectful, that is her name."

Agreed. I don't call her that,though; mainly because it takes more time to type than just "Kate".
I don't mind it if anyone should call me by my whole name. Do we know that Kate doesn't like hers?

CeeCee said...

I was reading somewhere that one of the dancers on "Dancing With the Stars" has come under severe on-line criticism for her weight gain over the summer. I think that people who post on-line feel that anyone on television is in the public eye and fair game -- Kate and Jon included.

They aren't just an unknown family from Pennsylvania anymore. They have become stars on cable television and with that comes criticism, fair or not.

If they were sensible they wouldn't read anything posted about them because they aren't going to be happy with a lot of it.

Daisy said...

Dotsicle, I think Kate prefers to go by Kate since that's what Jon and everyone she knows calls her. Don't you think that they would call her Katie Irene if that's what she prefers? Seems logical to me anyway.

NotAPerfectMom said...

It seems pretty clear that no one calling her Katie Irene on the blogs is doing it because they think she likes it.

Tyra said...

Quote:
It seems pretty clear that no one calling her Katie Irene on the blogs is doing it because they think she likes it.

Exactly. It's the context that makes the meaning clear. Have you ever seen someone online call her 'Katie Irene' when they wanted to say something nice about her? I haven't.

They think she's getting above herself by calling herself 'Kate' instead of the more familiar 'Katie'. I don't know why they think adding the 'Irene' helps bring her down from her snobbish heights. If my real name were 'Irene', I might be offended.

My theory is that the sound of 'Katie Irene' has a working-class sound to it, and it's the posters' way of telling her to stay in the class where she belongs, especially if they see themselves as belonging to that same class. A sociologist could have a field day with this stuff.

jace said...

Tyra,


I agree with you. They are being condescending to her. And your point about classism (is that a word? :) )
is right on.

A Mom-ynous said...

"America's Funniest Vidoes.

'Nuf said.

Ok, I get it, it's ok because you are getting paid."

Contributions to AFV are not paid.

Winners win a prize, but blips of video are not compensated.

For all the complaints over Aiden's diaper--where have all the folks been over AFV near 15-20 history?

zweistucktortemitschlagsahne said...

Contributions to AFV are not paid.

Winners win a prize, but blips of video are not compensated.

For all the complaints over Aiden's diaper--where have all the folks been over AFV near 15-20 history?


IMHO, the ultimate goal, is it not to win the cash prize?

I don't consider the video snippets ones that can be recalled as easily or as easily accesible as the Gosselin kids.

michelle said...

skye or whoever would like to read this,

I believe that Jodi, reading her sister's blog, did try to talk with both Jon and Kate with their concerns, regarding the show and the well-being of the kids. I'm pretty sure Jodi's sister's site wrote this. Not positive, but pretty sure.

The exploitation is going on, now.
Jon and Kate both do not have jobs, now.

Kate has stated, more than once, that the show is the family business. There would be no show if it were not for the tups & twins. The financial support of the family should not be on the children's shoulders. It is a hefty weight for the children to have to carry. They should just be "normal" kids, with two parents that have jobs and support the family. Or have one parent work and the other be a stay at home parent.

The children are all beautiful and,of course, cute as can be and fun to watch, but at what cost & expense?

If kate wants to sell herself as a "product" of being a Christian mom of sextuplets and twins, then let her go out "by herself" and do this. She can try and become another "Martha Stewart" but without having a show that is focused on the tups and twins, because lets face it, the show would be nonexistant without the tups & twins. Even Martha Stewart did not have her own child in the spotlight, while she was growing up into adulthood.

If Kate wants to be in the spotlight, fine, she is an adult that can make that decision for herself. The tups and twins are children and do not have the mind capacity to be able to make such decisions on whether they want to really be on T.V. every week or have their home be filled with strong ceiling lights and cameras focused on them. Will they grow up into puberty and be unscathed by all of this, no one really knows?? But, would I take the chance on my own children? I would not.

The point is, there would be no "show" (which is producing the income for the family), if there were no tups and twins.
So it does seem that, essentially, the children are supporting the family and this is not the responsibility for children to have to be doing, it's the parents responsibility to work in jobs that support the family.

This is exploitation by my definition.

nomoredrama said...

Well, if that house is the Gosselins, I hope they have security. I hope it has a gate.

I think it should also be noted that if they are staying in PA, this is a positive things for the kids. They won't be uprooted from everyone they know. They will be closer to their school and able to carry out family traditions (like the Parade they go to ever July 4th).

Do you think if they are staying in PA, they, perhaps, LISTENED to their children or considered their well-being?

Guinevere said...

I believe that Jodi, reading her sister's blog, did try to talk with both Jon and Kate with their concerns, regarding the show and the well-being of the kids. I'm pretty sure Jodi's sister's site wrote this. Not positive, but pretty sure.

I believe Julie has claimed that. I don't know if it's true or not. It seems to me that Julie only brought it up after she was questioned about why Jodi only took issue with the well-being of the kids after she had been replaced as caregiver. Julie told different stories at different times, IMO.

The exploitation is going on, now. Jon and Kate both do not have jobs, now.

Kate has stated, more than once, that the show is the family business.


Which is it? How can you say that they don't have jobs, and then say that the show is the family business?

There would be no show if it were not for the tups & twins. The financial support of the family should not be on the children's shoulders.

Not to be facetious, but there would be no sextuplets and twins if it weren't for Jon and Kate. I don't see them as financially supporting their family in the same way that a child sent out in the streets to beg or sent to a factory to work every day is. The Gosselins' situation is pretty unique, but the show is about the family - not just about the kids. I don't buy the claims that people just watch it for the kids; not when 90% of what gets talked about online are Jon and Kate.

It is a hefty weight for the children to have to carry. They should just be "normal" kids, with two parents that have jobs and support the family. Or have one parent work and the other be a stay at home parent.

I respect that this is your opinion, but why? Why does every family have to fit your definition of "normal"? There are plenty of non-normal, non-traditional families out there - are they all doing it wrong, according to you? I just don't get why people care if Jon and/or Kate goes to work at a traditional job.

The children are all beautiful and,of course, cute as can be and fun to watch, but at what cost & expense?

I don't know. YOU don't know. I guess you think there will be dire consequences for the kids down the line, but I just don't see how you can be so sure of this.

If kate wants to sell herself as a "product" of being a Christian mom of sextuplets and twins, then let her go out "by herself" and do this. She can try and become another "Martha Stewart" but without having a show that is focused on the tups and twins, because lets face it, the show would be nonexistant without the tups & twins. Even Martha Stewart did not have her own child in the spotlight, while she was growing up into adulthood.

I'm not sure I understand you. Are you saying that Kate has no chance of being a Martha Stewart-type entrepreneur without having the kids on the show. But then saying that Martha Stewart (who has been pretty successful by any measure) had a show and didn't have her daughter on it? I feel you're contradicting yourself again, but I may just be misunderstanding your point.

I don't appreciate the use of phrases like "let's face it" - you have your opinion, but you are wrong in thinking that everyone secretly agrees with you. Your opinion can stand on its own without everyone having to agree. Saying "let's face it" does not turn an opinion into a fact.

Will they grow up into puberty and be unscathed by all of this, no one really knows?? But, would I take the chance on my own children? I would not.

Well, no one is asking you to.

michelle said...

Hey Guinevere,

You have every right to your own opinions on how you view the show and Jon and Kate and all the children that are involved.

It's okay that we may see things in a different way.

Everyone is not going to agree on everything. Do we have to on this site?

They are just my views on how I see the "exploitation" factor in this show that, IMO, does revolve around the kids. Now if you see it differently, that is okay.

And to your last statement of, "no one is asking you to" Well, you are correct. I have never been approached to do a weekly series on TLC.

merryway said...

I don't understand why people say Jon & Kate aren't working. Kate is doing the spokesmom thing for grains and KMart, she has written a book, they have been traveling and doing speaking engagements for quite awhile. All of that is work. NTM management of the household, which seems to be Kate's area, is a lot of work These don't seem like lazy people.

Guinevere said...

michelle, ITA that we do not have to agree (it'd be boring if we did!) about everything. If I am occasionally vociferous in my opinions, let me assure you that it is not in an attempt to stifle or shout down contrary opinions.