CBS has a new reality show aimed at kids called "Kid Nation" that begins airing in September 2007. Forty kids age 8-12 were chosen to participate in an experiment living on their own and setting up their own society in a "ghost town" in the desert of New Mexico for 40 days with no adults to help them. They were actually located was a 10,000-acre, working cattle ranch and historic western movie set. Each episode ends with one of the children being awarded a $20,000 gold star and in one episide, a child is placed in stocks in the town square and hit with rotten fruit while being made fun of because he suggested they hold a math class.
Just some tidbits...
The parents of the children who participated were paid $5,000 and signed a 22 page waiver which stated that the network would be released from any and all liability should the children contract a sexually transmitted disease, get pregnant, become injured, or die (among other things) during the course of taping the show. Apparently forty parents were ok with this!
These forty children have missed school for a month.
There is no schoolteacher on the set.
The kids are on set at least 16 hours per day.
A couple of children were treated for ingesting bleach.
Another child was treated for burns which she got when she was cooking bacon on the stove.
CBS denied Dept of Labor inspectors from going on set to make sure CBS was adhering to child labor laws. (The Dept of Labor was notified by a parent of one of the injured children)
The President of CBS stated that the children are not actors, not under contract, and not subject to the laws regarding child labor. CBS obtained no permits or exemptions and sold the idea to the parents as "summer camp". There's evidence to suggest that they actually chose New Mexico because of the child labor loopholes. Apparently at the time, NM law was written in such a way that children involved in summer camps were excluded from certain child labor rules. If CBS wants to film next year they will have to find another state because NM has closed the loophole, period.
CBS maintains that the children can leave anytime they want but the problem is you've got young children--who are easily swayed--by their parents, by their peers and by their excitement over possibly becoming a star. Do you think if they wanted to go home, they REALLY could?
Uh hello WTF is going on here? CBS stated there were adults on the set--production assistants, cameramen, and a child psychologist.
How many parents were there? Anyone want to guess?
Anyone remember "Lord of the Flies?"
The CBS President admitted when they tossed around the idea of Kid Nation, someone brought up Lord of the Flies. Can you believe that? Come on people....television is all about ratings. What gets ratings? Forty children who get along and work together or forty children who beat each other up, cry, and pitch hysterical fits?
We know damn well that CBS, with the aid of forty stupid parents is exploiting these kids. That is just a new low if I ever saw one.