Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Kid Nation" = Child Labor Violation?

Dol_seal_bwrev The New York Times has the story about how a new reality show might be learning the reality of child labor laws under the Fair Standards Labor Act (FLSA):

The producers of a CBS reality show featuring 40 children living on their own in the New Mexico desert were warned by the state attorney general's office while the show was being taped last spring that they might be violating the state's child-labor laws, according to interviews with state officials and documents obtained Tuesday under the state's open records act.

The show, "Kid Nation," which is scheduled to premiere on CBS on Sept. 19, is a reality show whose premise is to take 40 children, ages 8 to 15, and place them in a "ghost town" in New Mexico to see if they can build a working society without the help of adults.

But after the production ended in mid-May, the parent of one child in the production complained to state officials that the children's treatment bordered on abuse. Four children received medical treatment for accidentally drinking bleach, one child was burned on her face with hot grease while cooking in an unsupervised kitchen, and most of the children were required to work 14 hours or longer per day. They received a payment of $5,000 for their participation.

In interviews last week, CBS contended the children were not employees because they were not performing specific work for specific wages. A lawyer for CBS, Jonathan Anschell, said the network had received no indication that it was violating the law.

Wow, I hope that isn't the reality that most children face in this country. Sounds more like China

In fact, given the abuse of these children, I am wondering whether criminal child neglect charges are more suitable for these CBS officials.

Hat Tip: Brian Harris

PS

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2007/08/kid-nation-chil.html

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Comments

I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH THE COMMENTS - but I want to take it a step further, and I'm not sure how - I want to start a FULL SCALE BOYCOTT AGAINST CBS, ALL ITS ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTS AND ANY ADVERTISERS - we have reached an all time low a human beings and I am sick of it - what's next with the "reality TV garbage?" Oh, I know, let's do a TV show of Michael Vick, from prison I hope, where he personally narrates filmclips of how they staged dog fights, and the techniques they planned and used to execute the dogs who didn't fight as well.

I am SICK of the garbage this country puts out, and somebody has to stop it - So, where do I start, because tying up the internet with another ridiculous spam campaign isn't the answer, but I am really really REALLY mad about this, and not just at CBS, but at the attitude and tastes of the public that makes entertainment of things that should be prosecuted, maybe after the Vic Doghandling shows we can start broadcasting actual torture, murders and rapes in progress - oh, wait, all we have to do is go to Baghdad to do that!!!!

Sign me disgusted in Southern California, and looking for a way to make a difference.

Posted by: Lael Willingham | Aug 24, 2007 10:47:03 AM

The parents should be arrested and the children removed from their custody as they appear to have no interest or concern for the safety of these minors

Posted by: Wisconsin | Aug 25, 2007 8:29:45 PM

Thoroughly disgusted by this show, and it should be boycotted and prevented from being aired. Illegal...unethical...immoral...and the rock bottom of reality TV. http://www.connietalk.com

Posted by: Connie | Aug 27, 2007 12:37:43 PM

If people are disgusted, then stop watching. The media only produces what they know people will watch. Personally I say, if the kids aren't in "danger", and they all know what they are getting into, go for it. Kids Rights Advocates have destroyed everything else.

Posted by: Dwayne | Sep 20, 2007 8:04:30 AM

As a younger citizen of this country, i believe that this "reality" show is not really a reality for most kids of this day and age. I wish that more kids could fend for themselves, not depend on the McDonalds for food and television for education. I do not believe that this show has anything to do with child labor laws. If a child of the age range of 10-14 do not know how to cook food from scratch, including boiling water, or take the responsibility of doing an assigned task as they signed up for this show then their parents should have taught them better!

Posted by: Heather | Oct 11, 2007 10:18:09 AM

kid nation rocks!!! i am 11 and if i was paid to g oon the show, i would be there in a heart beat ok so stop talking trash!!!!! please!!

Posted by: spazz_attack | Nov 11, 2007 2:40:31 PM

kid nation is an innocent show where children deal with the real matters of the world. they'll learn to cook at some time in there life. if they get splashed by grease lets sue the world for giving us oil to burn ourselves with!!! I AM so mad that people are disgusted that children are put to work! and thank you Dwane your comment is very true.BLESS YOU! if children cant boil water and put the food in and wait untill its cooked without sueing some one for getting hurt then the hope of the human race is in grave danger.And also may i point out the have the opertunity to leave!WHY IS BEING PUT TO WORK SO BAD!

Posted by: Kassi | May 24, 2008 11:14:26 PM

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