Sunday, November 22, 2009

As final episode airs, an open letter to the Gosselin children

We are so relieved to be able to say this: The final episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8 airs Monday, November 23, 2009, on TLC.

Dear Mady, Cara, Alexis, Joel, Colin, Hannah, Leah and Aaden,

When your grandparents were just your age, a world phenomenon that was the Dionne Quintuplets was born. They weren't born in some remote, third world country, with little idea for basic human rights, education, normalcy and privacy. Indeed, they were born in Canada, just a few hours north of our border. North Americans flocked in droves to see their circus act.

But in the decades that followed, we began to realize the errors and mistakes that were made during their upbringing. The girls themselves became adults and were able to speak up and tell us where we went wrong. And as multiples became more and more popular in recent years, most parents realized how important it was to keep their little ones' lives as normal as possible, to not let what happened to the Dionnes happen to their multiples.

But in 2004, you came into the world, and something was different. For some reason, people forgot the Dionnes. Cameras were turned on, a circus act was reborn, and your lives were forever changed. We can't begin to pin down everyone who is responsible for what was done to you, which unfortunately, begins with your parents. But it also certainly includes a little cable network called TLC, a parent company called Discovery, and every person in your life who did not speak up about what was happening and help protect you. Sadly, those who did speak up were often cut out of your lives, and we hope as you grow older they will be permitted to be reintroduced to you.

But we want you to know that there were thousands who gathered on the Internet to speak up. There were thousands who said, "this is not right." We posted our outrage all over the Net. We e-mailed, called, and wrote to TLC. Some people even tried to communicate with your own parents, friends, and family. We have been trying to stop this for a long time, Gosselin children. We have tried to change things for you, to make this better for you. We are so sorry we couldn't have done more. We are so sorry this happened to you.

You are permanently the "Plus 8" and you must live with that. You can't change that, but you can change other things. Surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart. Surround yourself with people who want to give you a normal life, who value and respect you. Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, and not for your 15 minutes of fame and what little money may be left from that. We hope those who wronged you will someday understand what they did and make amends to you, and that you are able to repair broken relationships and broken trust. We wish you all the best in your relationship with your parents, and we hope you will seek out professional help as needed to assist you in coping with what was done to you by those you trusted the most. Do not be ashamed to get help. Do not be afraid to say "no" to those who continue to seek to harm you. And know that there were people out here who have wanted all the best and more for you since the moment we met you, and who will also forever remember the atrocities that happened the first several years of your lives.

We'd like to say this will never happen again. Perhaps know that some good has come of this. You have provided another hard lesson in what happens when you exploit a child's privacy for a dollar. In 1998, the Dionnes settled with the Canadian government for $28 million. Sadly, however, no amount of money can allow you to reclaim a childhood lost.

We wish you wonderful lives, and we hope we never see you faces on our TV's ever again. You deserve so much better.

Sincerely,
Those who Cared

10 sediments (sic) from readers:

Anonymous said...

Amen!!

Debbie said...

What a wonderful post. It says it all, so many people cared about the rights of those children. With just what we could see on TV it was still easy to see they were not in a good situation. Bless them and I pray they and no other children will ever be subject to this situation again.

Anonymous said...

I smell a GWOP alliance here.

Anonymous said...

Great letter--I wish some people would take the time to read the letter and really, really consider its content and sincerity, instead of looking at the situation as a "Team Jon" vs. "Team Kate" competition. It's not a competition, people--it's eight children's lives. Also, if supporting TLC and this debacle makes you think you a "sticking up" for Kate--think again. Kate is being used by TLC as well. If someone is really a "supporter of Kate" they would want what's best for her--which, IMO, is NOT a reality show on TLC. Money does not buy happiness. I'm not saying that both Jon and Kate have not made choices that have contributed directly to the end of the marriage and the fracturing of the family--but the show and TLC have certainly exacerbated and accelerated the situation to it's present day ugliness and hostility.

Debbie said...

I agree and believe that Kate is being used by TLC. I firmly believe that there will never be a Kate show. TLC is just dangling the carrot in front of her to keep her in line and on their side of the lawsuit. At most there might be a Kate show pilot which will not go over good so the show will never materialize. I am not team Kate or Jon I am team kids rights. I am on Jon's side in the TLC lawsuit as any loss by him will be a loss for the children.

Administrator said...

I also couldn't agree more that TLC is using Kate. You can bet that if Kate ever makes a misstep TLC will turn on her too in a heartbeat. The second she stops bringing in money or does something they disapprove of, they'll drop her like a rock and sue her too.

TLC doesn't really care about her and her family, I wish she could see that. I wish she could see they would do the same thing to her they are doing to Jon if she ever falls out of line. They only care about making money and being right.

I actually feel sorry for Kate. She is letting this network use and manipulate her. She doesn't seem to realize. She is unsophisticated, she is still a middle class soccer mom from middle America. She's not a seasoned tried and tested experienced celebrity. That's not her fault, she was thrown into this. Another reason why reality shows are so dangerous, thrusting people into the entertainment industry who's only experience with any of this is watching E! news.

Laura said...

DGS - Fantastic post.

I think Kate is naive to think that TLC has her best interests in mind. As someone else pointed out, Kate will step out of line and TLC will cut her off.

I don't feel sorry for Kate at all. I think Kate has been colluding with TLC and various tabloid magazines and websites to destroy Jon's public image. She treats those children as if they are chattel. She's been working with TLC to exploit her kids for money. Nope, no sympathy from me.

Administrator said...

I'm the last person to show sympathy for Kate, she ran out of chances ages ago, but I've worked with many mothers and fathers going through a divorce. You are at a very vulnerable time. Your emotions are out of control. You can very easily be manipulated. You often aren't thinking clearly, with anger and regret and incredible sadness and a host of other emotions spinning in your head.

It's sort of like taking advantage of someone whose child just died. In fact divorce has been compared by psychologists to death. If Kate just lost a child, God forbid, and TLC used her anger and sadness to further their own millions, it would be deplorable. I see what they are doing right now as very similar, taking advantage of a woman who is vulnerable and emotionally charged and using it to their benefit.

I've said before, several months or years from now these feelings will lesson and Kate will take a step back and will likely realize she wasn't herself right now. I am in no way excusing her or relieving her of responsibility, but TLC is disgusting.

Administrator said...

I'm the last person to show sympathy for Kate, she ran out of chances ages ago, but I've worked with many mothers and fathers going through a divorce. You are at a very vulnerable time. Your emotions are out of control. You can very easily be manipulated. You often aren't thinking clearly, with anger and regret and incredible sadness and a host of other emotions spinning in your head.

It's sort of like taking advantage of someone whose child just died. In fact divorce has been compared by psychologists to death. If Kate just lost a child, God forbid, and TLC used her anger and sadness to further their own millions, it would be deplorable. I see what they are doing right now as very similar, taking advantage of a woman who is vulnerable and emotionally charged and using it to their benefit.

I've said before, several months or years from now these feelings will lesson and Kate will take a step back and will likely realize she wasn't herself right now. I am in no way excusing her or relieving her of responsibility, but TLC is disgusting.

Administrator said...

I also couldn't agree more that TLC is using Kate. You can bet that if Kate ever makes a misstep TLC will turn on her too in a heartbeat. The second she stops bringing in money or does something they disapprove of, they'll drop her like a rock and sue her too.

TLC doesn't really care about her and her family, I wish she could see that. I wish she could see they would do the same thing to her they are doing to Jon if she ever falls out of line. They only care about making money and being right.

I actually feel sorry for Kate. She is letting this network use and manipulate her. She doesn't seem to realize. She is unsophisticated, she is still a middle class soccer mom from middle America. She's not a seasoned tried and tested experienced celebrity. That's not her fault, she was thrown into this. Another reason why reality shows are so dangerous, thrusting people into the entertainment industry who's only experience with any of this is watching E! news.