Although coverage of Jon & Kate Plus Eight has focused mostly on the Jon and Kate part, and ignored the eight kids, who despite being the reason for the show’s creation, don’t want to be on TV, their aunt said.
That aunt isn’t exactly a neutral party. Kate’s brother, Kevin Kreider, and sister in law, Jodi Kreider, appeared on the TLC reality show early on, but have since become vocal critics; Aunt Jodi’s sister runs Truth Breeds Hatred, a critical blog.
Aunt Jodi said on CBS’ Early Show that the kids “don’t want the cameras around. They have told me personally. … We watched them quite a bit about a year ago and further back. They would say, ‘Aunt Jodi, I don’t like the cameras on every vacation with us. I don’t like them — and, too, you know, kids have bad times, bad moments, they cry — and having the camera zoom in on a crying child, I mean, this is just — this should not be a form of entertainment.”
Kevin said, “I do talk to Kate and Jon. We haven’t seen the kids in awhile, which is hard. … Our relationship has definitely been strained now. What we hope is that they will kind of come around, see the effects, see what’s most important.”
Jodi added, “They’re being exploited. It’s time for America to see the situation for what it really is, which is — unfortunately, there no laws protecting children in reality TV shows. And it’s time for the public to be aware of this. And that these — these children are very aware of the cameras in their homes. Their home is their workplace. And this is not a healthy environment for kids to be raised in.”
Regarding protection for the kids, child labor law doesn’t apply to a docudrama reality show. Labor law attorney Paul Moretti told E! News that “chances are, courts would say this doesn’t count as labor, because the children are doing things they would be doing whether there was a camera or not. Show producers are not taking the kids away from their studies, making them memorize lines, or taking them away from socialization.The law would probably say that when the children are sitting at home using a coloring book or going to a soccer game, and they’re being filmed, they’re not doing someone else’s business. They’re doing their own business,” he said.
Earlier, TLC said in a statement that Jon & Kate Plus Eight‘s “ratings have grown consistently, as there has been interest in these real-life issues of this real-life family. We will continue to air as the interest continues, and the family wants to do it.”
The real question is whether or not the kids have any choice or really, truly want to do it.