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Reality TV Kids Don't Have a Safety Net

June 28, 2010

Even by reality television standards, the showdown in the Season 1 finale of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" was epic: A furious Teresa Giudice screamed at fellow cast member Danielle Staub that she was a "prostitution whore," then yanked a table into the air, sending dishes crashing to the ground.

Watching the drama were Staub's noticeably alarmed daughters, then 11 and 15, whose mother had kept them in the room for the exchange.

New Jersey prohibits minors from appearing in entertainment productions dangerous to their "life, limb, health or morals." But the state could not say whether the "Housewives" series is subject to its child labor laws.

A public records investigation by the Los Angeles Times found that dozens of kids are appearing on reality programs without legal safeguards because of widespread uncertainty about how to classify the shows. In its examination of some of the most visible series featuring children under 16, The Times found that a majority have not obtained work permits to employ minors, including TLC's "19 Kids and Counting," WE tv's "Raising Sextuplets" and the entire "Real Housewives" franchise on Bravo.  Read More



 
 
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