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Whoever Holds the Conch Gets to Speak.

kiddspan.jpgThere’s a television show debuting this fall on CBS called “Kid Nation.” The show basically involves leaving 40 kids, ages 8 - 15, out in a New Mexico ghost town for 40 days, allowing them little or no contact with their parents. The idea, I suppose, is that the producers are trying to create some sort of Lord of the Flies government until the group’s Piggy is killed by a rock a producer left in front of another kid, who the producers just force-fed half a gallon of Tequiza and told that Piggy stole his slingshot and raped his mom. Or something like that.

Anyway, what’s interesting about the show (because, God knows, the show itself won’t actually be) are the contracts that CBS insists the parents sign, lest their child be expelled from the show. Of course, these contracts are standard for adults in reality shows, but here CBS is making the kids (and their parents) solely responsible for “’emotional distress, illness, sexually transmitted diseases, H.I.V. and pregnancy’” that might occur if the child “chooses to enter into an intimate relationship of any nature with another participant or any other person.” Neither can CBS be held liable for the death, injury, or inadequate medical care of the children.

So, what the hell is it that these kids will be doing for 40 days? Well, whatever it is, we may never know the true back story. Not only are these kids (and their parents) forced to sign a confidentiality agreement, which runs for three years after the end of the show’s run (the entire show, not just a season) under penalty of $5 million, but the kids also sign away their life stories “in perpetuity and throughout the universe.”

And what do the kids get in exchange for giving up their right to sue if’n an 11-year-old knocks up nine-year-old Sally and beats her for eating his Trix? $5,000 for finishing the series. $20,000 if they win. And if a kid leaves at any time during the show, they get nada.

| Comments (3)


Someone please explain to me why any parent would let their child participate in this. Wait, no - someone explain to me why letting / making your child participate in this isn't automatic grounds for terminating parental rights. I do not understand how this could possibly be considered acceptable or legal or anything other than sick...

God, those poor kids. EIGHT YEARS OLD! Who let this happen?

Of all the...

i've gotta say -- the parents really get the blame for this.