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Leave 'Kid Nation' Alone!
August 28, 2007

This rant is based on the following 2 news articles:
'Kid Nation': Reality TV Gone too Far?
Forty Kids Are Given 40 Days to Start a New Society and Their Parents Agreed

New CBS reality series "Kid Nation" is at the center of controversy.

The show features 40 children, ages 8 to 15, placed in the New Mexico desert with the goal of creating a society. And it's all in an effort to win tens of thousands of dollars in prize money.

The show has raised questions about whether child labor laws were violated and whether or not the children were exploited.

In the spring, a group of parents waved goodbye to their kids and put them in the hands of a television production company for six weeks.

For 40 days, the 40 kids worked to build their own society, free of adult influence and free of many modern-day luxuries: no electricity, no indoor bathrooms and no school. The contestants worked from sunup to sundown every single day prompting the initial controversy.

At the beginning of filming in April, New Mexico's Workforce Solutions Department received a tip from California, suggesting that it send inspectors to the set to investigate whether child labor laws were being broken.

But the inspectors never made it onto the property. A spokesman for the Workforce Solutions Department says CBS never told any state authority what was happening at the ranch.

"It wasn't until midway through the production that we learned they were actually out there," said Carlos Castaneda of the New Mexico State Labor Department. "We had no idea and that's very unusual when a production comes into New Mexico."

In May, another anonymous complaint came that children "were unattended" and four children had accidentally "drank bleach" while one was "burned in her face with hot grease."

"It sounds to me like these kids were exploited. Think about it. If we have child actors on a movie set or a TV show, their hours, their working conditions are very carefully regulated by the state," Court TV anchor and former civil rights lawyer Lisa Bloom said. "They have to have tutors on the set. These kids were six weeks away from school."

By the time the local sheriff's department tried to investigate, production on the show had ended.

In a statement, CBS says, "The few minor injuries that took place were all treated immediately and by professionals."

Additionally, "Kid Nation" was "filmed responsibly and within all applicable laws," the statement said.

The show's producer conceded, however, that CBS may not have been able to film so easily under stricter laws in other states.

"Kids were in good hands and under good care. The overwhelming majority of kids are highly enthusiastic and happy," the CBS statement said.

"When you've got kids involved, it does cross a line. It's different. Consenting adults if you want to make them eat flies or run around in the sand half-naked, they agree to do it. Children is different," said Howard Kurtz, Washington Post media reporter.

Before the children began filming, every parent signed a 22-page contract. After reviewing a copy, The New York Times reported parents had agreed to allow their kids to "do whatever they were told to do by the show's producers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or risk expulsion from the show."

"There are certain rights that children have, that parents cannot sign away. And if the parents want to file a lawsuit, that can't be signed away by a waiver form," Bloom said.

The contract also included a confidentiality clause, which, according to the Times, extends for three years and carries a $5 million penalty.

When ABC News contacted CBS to speak to parents involved in the show, CBS refused.

[ Source ]


The American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA), the primary union representing television performers, has joined the controversy over CBS's upcoming reality series Kid Nation, which has been accused of violating child labor laws. AFTRA said that it will launch its own probe of the series to see whether it violated the terms of its contract with the network. (The kids who participated in the series are not union members; however, the host, the announcer, and perhaps others are.) "We will take all legal and moral steps available to protect the rights of the performers and children on this program," Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, the union's national executive director, said in a statement. Meanwhile Paul Petersen, who played Jeff on The Donna Reed Show from 1958-1966 and now heads the watchdog group A Minor Consideration, has called the Kid Nation production "ghastly and a shame." In an interview with today's (Monday) Los Angeles Times, Petersen said, "I've never seen anything like this, in terms of wanton disregard for the lives of children."

[ Source ]

Before we get into the rant, I just wanted to point out the best quote from the first article:

"Children is different"
--Howard Kurtz
Washington Post

Now, let's get into this. We'll start this little session with me breaking it down for all the dumbasses in the crowd. You have this reality show where these kids go try to survive on their own without any modern conveniences like it's the fucking 1800s. Nevermind that that's a completely unfair test of how children would really do at surviving on their own since it's NOT the fucking 1800s anymore! The kids, for the most part, are reported to have "had fun" doing the show. They enjoyed themselves and had a chance to earn some money, plus I'm sure even the losers were paid for being there (you can't just use someone's image in a television show without paying them for the right to use their image).

Now we've got this "AFTRA" group popping up saying "blah blah blah, unfair to the kids, blah blah blah." We even have this little gem of a statement from Paul Petersen, the washed-up actor who heads this pissy little "watchdog" group:

"I've never seen anything like this, in terms of wanton disregard for the lives of children."

And here's where the blood starts boiling. OH FUCKING REALLY, you cocksucker?! A fucking entertainment program where the kids had fun is "wanton disregard for the lives of children?" IS THAT FUCKING RIGHT??? Well, we'll keep this in context. Surely this guy was only talking about within the realm of television entertainment, not the world at large. So we'll just keep it there. So, in terms of TV shows, Kid Nation is the worst thing this guy's ever seen in terms of "wanton disregard for the lives of children?"

Where the fuck were you during BRAT CAMP, asshole?!

Let's review that one, shall we? Brat Camp consisted of:

• Kids getting kidnapped in the dead of night (with parental consent).
• Kids being held against their will in the frozen wilderness.
• Kids being marched through the snow for hours.
• Kids being talked to and treated like pure shit.
• Kids deprived of liberty without due process of law.
• And much more!

And this fucking douchebag has the NERVE to talk about these kids' "rights" being violated? WHAT THE FUCK?! So, it's a violation of a kid's rights for that kid to willingly participate in a fun event and to get paid for his or her participation, but apparently it's NOT a violation of any kid's rights to be snatched from their homes in the middle of the night, thrown into a van, taken from their family and held against their will in the middle of fucking frozen nowhere?! It's ok to put THAT on television, is it? Nobody's rights being violated there? No child labor laws being broken by having kids perform hard labor without pay from sun-up to sun-down in the name of "instilling good discipline" in them?!

So here's what I'd like to fucking know. Why is it that shows like Brat Camp are acceptable? Why is it just fine for young teens to go on Dr. Phil so he can talk to them like they're pieces of shit? Why is all that just fine, but suddenly it's a huge fucking controversial problem for 40 kids to go have fun for six weeks shooting a CBS reality show of their own free will?

Good thing you have me around to answer my own questions for you, cuz I know most of you are too fucking stupid to answer any question I'm brilliant enough to think up.

The answer is not just that "children is different" it's that not all children are the same. Why, what do I mean? It's simple. The 40 kids on Kid Nation are 40 nice upstanding "good kids." The kids on Brat Camp, Dr. Phil, etc. are all bad "problem kids."

That's your answer. For all the shit these stupid ass fucking "child advocates" talk, it all comes down to the fact that they DON'T GIVE A SHIT about children. They're protecting their investment for the future and that investment is good, docile, obedient children that know how to listen and do what they're told without question. Kids that don't rock the boat. Bad kids? Kids that cause trouble or have emotional problems or break the law? Nope, fuck them, nobody gives a rat's ass!

These motherfuckers only "care" about "protecting" children when those children have played the game correctly. The only children worth protecting are the sweet little good children. The rest of 'em? Pfft! Sure, some girl went on Dr. Phil and he made her cry and insulted her and treated her like she was less than nothing, but she's 14 and sexually active so it's OK to exploit her for ratings! And, really, it may be true that some guy was kidnapped and worked like a goddamn slave all day long for weeks in the frozen wilderness, but he uses drugs and disobeys his parents, so that's not wrong at all; no problem exploiting him for a national television show!

Protect ALL the kids from being treated badly for ratings or SHUT THE FUCK UP about it! And even if you're gonna do that, you're still fucked up on this Kid Nation deal, cuz they're NOT being mistreated! Any idiot knows that. Well, I guess not any idiot. The idiots in AFTRA obviously don't.

All this big fucking shit storm, over NOTHING. A bunch of nosey fucking rimjobs pop up and bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch about kids being exploited (when they haven't been). Even if they were right, I'd say, WHAT'S NEW ABOUT THAT?! Young people are exploited by society and by the media every fucking day and nobody gives a shit.

Leave Kid Nation alone. There's no problem with it. Certainly nowhere near the bullshit that every other media outlet uses to exploit "undesirable" kids that people love to hate. And that's the bottom line for the whole thing. You dickheads HATE kids unless they're acting like your fucking lap dogs. Go out right now, get a gun, put it in your mouth, and pull the motherfucking trigger, you useless goddamn piles of subhuman ignorant SHIT!

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