Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The "Curse" of Child Stars

I just added a perma-link to A Minor Consideration. The site is a valuable resource of information about child-actors and performers, and a glimpse into the future of famous children. There is a page of articles there, and I was surprised to see a link to *THIS* story about the recent suicide of former child-star DANA PLATO'S SON. (DANA herself committed suicide)
So, we have our first, (as far as I know), case of the "curse", of former child stars, descending upon the NEXT generation.
Is avoiding legal protection for children, the reason why THE HOUSEWIVES, and other shows, cling so desperately to the premise of "reality"?
Because the shield of "reality" protects THE ADULTS from having to follow laws & rules meant to protect children who work and appear in the media?
DANIELLE told ANDY on WWHL the other night that RHONJ is a "job".
Really DANIELLE? Because the last time that I checked, REAL ACTRESSES had UNION CARDS.
I would really like to see S.A.G. go-after the producers of reality television.
And that goes for JILL ZARIN too. In fact, I think that THE FRIARS CLUB should revoke her membership!
And let's not forget THE WRITER'S GUILD.
By insisting that there is no script, (and ad-libbing, and improvisation  are recognized as "real" script-writing in legitimate non-reality, just ask LARRY DAVID or JERRY SEINFELD) , these BRAVOLEBRITIES, are  cheating themselves more than they are cheating the viewers.
I think we caught KIM G., at the country club, fumbling in the scene where she tried to tell DANIELLE that TERESA was just trying to create some dialogue-just before all hell broke loose.
Now that we are hearing that THE HOUSEWIVES franchise will be broadcast on network daytime television, residual payments and rights are even more important.
IF reality productions followed union rules, every single reality kid would have a nice 18th Birthday present waiting for them in THE COOGAN FUND
NICK HOGAN actually forgot to collect his the last time that I checked, (listed as Nick Bollea ).
The HOGAN'S, even-though their family was also a victim of the "curse" of reality television, at least made an effort to follow the rules when they offered-up their family  for our entertainment & scrutiny.
We cannot depend on adults to do the right thing when it comes to protecting children. The only instance of a production company intervening on the life of a reality child, is the story about a Toddlers-And-Tiaras-Mom who not only physically and mentally abused her own child for the viewing audience to see, but apparently in real-life, she ran a day care where she committed violence & abuse on other people's babies as well.
In that case, it is my understanding that the TLC crew provided testimony and/or evidence for the prosecution. I hope that there is some special kind of EMMY award for their actions.
And then there is the kind of damage that most people will never understand. DANA PLATO understood it, and GARY COLEMAN sure did, bitterly.
DANA PLATO wasn't a reality actor, but she was a child who's future was decided for her before she was even old enough to know what she would want in that future.
Her SON, led a sad short life that was profoundly influenced by those decisions also.
I've seen people shushed and shamed for commenting or making-fun of our HOUSEWIVES children.
"The kids are off-limits!", "Don't go there!", "Out-of-line!!!", "You can't comment about a child's looks!"
Really? Oh yes we can. And the person to point the finger of blame, is the child's PARENTS.
THEY make the choice to exploit their child's privacy, and place them in the public eye.
The worse the public makes it for kids who's parents are so stupid, selfish, or both, the better it is for anyone else considering fame for children in my opinion.