Are you loving the pathetic story of Richard Heene and Mayumi Heene, a Mom and Dad who forced their kids into a gigantic hoax of a wild goose chase, to gain fame and a reality show? The annoying balloon boy hoax may be the last straw to warn people against the social perils of bad reality shows. Are you enjoying a family being ripped apart on TV? I’m speaking about Jon & Kate Plus Eight and Jon Gosselin and his wife and children’s public spectacle of familial breakdown.
I emphasize I’m criticizing bad reality TV, the truly exploitative, heinous kind. In all fairness, not all are created equal. I’ll watch myself now and then, but too many of these TV reality shows delight in making people celebrities for a time, raking in big cash, and then run off chasing a next batch of potential instant celebrities. Wife Swap (the Heenes were in), Bridezillas, the Housewives series and possibly the worst of them all, the execrable Jon & Kate Plus Eight.
Jon Gosselin and wife Kate welcomed cameras in their home to document their life and make their kids public figures. Now that the bloom is off the rose and there’s marital distress, financial squabbles which may lead to a divorce and cancellation of the show, chaos has ensued. TLC has launched legal action against Gosselin for breaching his contract by talking to other media outlets.
When people are shocked and disgusted over Richard Heene’s balloon boy hoax, I’m more shocked at their dismay. Since MTV’s The Osbournes made a famous, wealthy rocker’s family a thousand times more famous and wealthy, there’s been a mad dash to up the ante and find real bizarre people to put under a magnifying glass. The most shocking aspect of all is an unjustifiable exploitation of children.
Gosselin’s kids had no say in their parent’s rush for fame and fortune. Richard Heene and wife Mayumi Heene, if it’s proven balloon boy was indeed a hoax, forced their kids to play along with the deceit to earn reality show cash. In all of this, I wonder where’s our justice system? Where’s our social responsibility system? If you’re an adult and wish to parade in front of cameras, fine more power to you. If you’re a minor, there should be someone looking out for a child’s fragile mental condition which is still maturing. As history is showing us, the parents of these children certainly are the last looking out for their welfare.