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Controversy Abounds Before "Kid Nation" Debut

Controversy Abounds Before "Kid Nation" Debut

When CBS decided to film a reality show by putting 40 kids in the desert to create their own society, controversy was certain to follow. And the news stories slamming "Kid Nation" certainly have hit a fever pitch in the past few days. Two major articles have appeared questioning whether the children were abused or exploited during their 40 days in a New Mexico ghost town, one in the New York Times and one in the LA Times.

A mother of one participant who was burned in a cooking accident has alleged that the children were put in harm's way during the taping. There's also been a fuss over whether the production broke New Mexico's child labor laws. CBS responded to the criticism on Tuesday, saying the children were in good hands at all times and no laws were broken in the process, even as another New York Times story said the show was warned that it could be in violation of labor guidelines.

Maybe it's the skeptic in me, but I wonder if any publicity is good publicity for the show; the dust-ups certainly make me want to tune in when the show premieres Sept. 19. In the meantime, CBS also released a new promo for the show, which you can watch if you

Photo and video courtesy of CBS

Join The Conversation
gib gib 9 years
The idea is neat, but why not be upfront about it to make sure the parents know what they've signed up for? if it really was as safe as they claim, they'd have still got participants. keeping it a secret was their big mistake, since they could have got clearance from authorities otherwise.
PinkNC PinkNC 9 years
They're too scripted these days.
arienne arienne 9 years
Drinking bleach and being splattered with hot oil? It doesn't sound very safe. I have no problem with adults signing up to do stupid things (and have to admit that I love reality TV) but it is totally different to sign up your 8 year old child. I am not going to watch this.
MamaD MamaD 9 years
Stupidest idea ever!!! And yes, all so called reality shows are staged!! Just look at Man Vs. Wild......they've proved that that guy didn't do all of the survival stuff he portrayed to the cameras!!!! I think someone who hates kids came up with this brainstorm!!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Since monetary incentives were involved, I wonder if parental pressure influenced participants to stay rather than leave; and then there's the social pressure to stay in order not to look "bad" in front of your peers.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
my 8 year old daughter is very responsible, but there is no way i'd let her participate in something like this. kids need adult supervision not just for what they might do but what some other child might do TO them. a camera crew is there for good footage, remember when that guy fell into the fire on "survivor"?
talloolah talloolah 9 years
i just skimmed through this article and the idea just sounds fucking stupid. reality tv is just ridiculous. part of the reason i dont watch tv anymore.
junebrug junebrug 9 years
Ratings, ratings, ratings. Honestly I don't doubt for a second they'd do a better job of running the world than the 50-year-olds do, but this exploitation.
Random2 Random2 9 years
This seems to have the whole "Lord of the Flies" vibe going on.
demeter demeter 9 years
Isn't every 'reality' show staged these days? Name me one that isn't!
Hootie Hootie 9 years
Seems to staged to me. My 9 year old thinks the idea is cool.
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 9 years
This show has caught my interest from the commercials I've seen. However, as soon as I realized that there were camera-crews and probably a director and producers in the town, I started to kind of feel fooled, because obviously it wasn't just kids. I wonder how much the producers influenced the way things went, since we all know they influence things on other "reality" shows.
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