HORSHAM, Pa. - A broad debate over child labor laws in Pennsylvania ended up zeroing in on one Berks County family.
State lawmakers heard testimony that painted a different reality of Jon and Kate Gosselin's life in front of the cameras and the possible affects on their eight kids.
Members of the state House Republican Policy Committee tried not to name names as they hosted a hearing on child labor laws and reality TV.
I wanted to make it very clear that we are not here today to investigate or pass judgment on that production, said Pa. Rep. Stanley Saylor, (R) York County.
But the vague references did not last.
My husband's sister is Kate Gosselin, said Kevin Kreider.
Kevin and Jody Kreider were filmed in early episodes of the TLC show "Jon and Kate Plus 8."
Which we now do view as a regret, said Kevin, Kate's brother, who testified the so-called reality show was scripted and offered what he called potential psychological damage to the Gosselin kids.
The children were told it was Christmas morning, said Kevin. It was so the camera crew could get the genuine reaction of the children. It wasn't until after, 'til later, that they were told it was not Christmas morning.
Neither Jon nor Kate Gosselin was at the hearing.
Jon responded via Twitter, saying the Kreider's allegations were not his experience at all during the filming of "Jon and Kate Plus 8."
Earlier this year, Jon settled a lawsuit against TLC where he claimed the network violated child labor laws in regards to his children.
State Representative Stanley Saylor of Montgomery County is proposing legislation that would make children involved in reality TV subject to the same work permits as any other child in the state.
He also wants to see payment standards developed that would mandate trust funds for those kids working on TV.
In reality TV, said Kevin, those laws do not exist.
Kevin also pointed to a specific instance regarding cameras in the Gosselin bathrooms.
The children's potty training with skin exposed was filmed by camera crews, said Kevin.
Former child star turned children's rights advocate, Paul Peterson, also testified about the need for more legal protection for children on TV.
Cameras and microphones alter behavior, said Peterson. The presence of a working film crew alters the dynamics within a home.
Peterson posed the question, why weren't state laws enforced in regards to the Gosselin children being filmed during potty training.
State Representative Mike Vereb pledged that he would look into that and said he would follow up with the district attorney if any laws were broken.
I think that issue, videotaping youth in such a fashion is of great question, said Vereb. I question, do parents have the right to do that?
One representative asked Kevin Kreider what his sister, Kate Gosselin, thinks about his appearance here today.
I'm sure she's aware of it, said Kevin. The way I view that is what parent would not want to add extra protection to their child?
The hearing goes along with proposed legislation that would strengthen child labor laws for children working on so-called reality shows in Pennsylvania.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News