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Arts and Entertainment

Kid Nation on CBS: What's Summer Camp without Labor Laws, STDs and Death in Contract?

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CBS says it is one parent distorting the picture of Kid Nation, a reality show about 40 kids, 40 days and no adults that premieres on September 19th. But news outlets are on the attack with Lisa de Moraes of The TV Column at The Washington Post rounding up the media coverage:

The news reports on "Kid Nation" to date are the stuff PR-nightmare legends are made of: charges of thwarting child-labor laws; parents signing away their rights to sue if their child dies, is severely injured or contracts a sexually transmitted disease during the shooting; the mother of one child complaining her daughter was burned on the face and not properly treated; several more children allegedly drinking bleach by accident... [snip]

" 'Kid Nation' Parents: What Were They Thinking?" screamed one distraught newspaper headline writer.

"A CBS Reality Show Draws a Claim of Possible Child Abuse," wailed another.

"Is Child Exploitation Legal in 'Kid Nation'?" yet another asked rhetorically, like they meant it to sting.

The question of legality seems to side with CBS who took advantage New Mexico's loose labor laws two months before they were tightened by the state legislature. CBS declared the production as ' summer camp' rather than a place of employment. Legal, sure, but moral?

As for other parents talking... nope. They signed a participation agreement that "includes a strict confidentiality clause covering disclosure of information about the show and contact with the media for three years after the show. If they violate the pact, the agreement says they may be liable to CBS for a $5 million penalty."

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