Wednesday, September 22, 2010

'Nellie Olsen' and 'Timmy' from Lassie to testify at child labor hearing

Former child star Alison Arngrim of "Little House on the Prairie" is slated to testify Thursday in Harrisburg about the need for better child labor laws, especially for reality children.
The streaming video: http://pcntv.com/pcnplus/

We've been a long-time fan of Alison and love her candor, especially her openness about her experiences as a child actor. Alison speaks highly of Michael Landon, as do all the former Little House stars, and how he made the set a fun and welcoming place for the children (Melissa Gilbert even named her son Michael). It's one of the few shows where all the child actors have grown up to be seemingly happy and successful with few to any of the cliche problems child actors run into. Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson (Laura and Mary) have grown up and had families and are still acting. Jonathan Gilbert, who played Willie, became a stock broker. Matthew Laborteaux, who played Albert, founded a youth shelter in Los Angeles. The twins who played Carrie, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush, own a ranch together and raise horses. Shannon Doherty, who played Laura's niece Jenny, has had a very successful career and appeared on DWTS with Kate. Jason Bateman, who played adopted son James, has also had a wildly successful career and has a family. James' sister Cassandra, played by Missy Francis, became a reporter for CNBC. Coincidence that all these children from the same set did so well? Or was it because of the supportive and positive environment perpetrated by Michael Landon?

In fact the set was Alison's safe haven because she says she was being molested by a relative at home. However, Alison seems to realize not all sets have a Michael Landon watching over its child actors. (Michael ironically means "angel.")

Alison has always spoken openly about how being cast as the "mean" character on the show caused her to be "hated" by so many everywhere she went. She even wrote a book about the experience, "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch." Will Mady face the same problems (or perhaps, is facing them right now) due to the way her parents and the show have relentlessly labeled her as "the difficult one"? We think Mady is wonderful, but the child has been typecast there is no doubt about that.

26 sediments (sic) from readers:

Starz22 said...

Typecasting is a true fact. I grew up watching LHOTP.I will forever think of Alison (Nellie) being a mega-bitch.It was a char that she played I understand that,But thats how I remember her....No matter what shes done since the show.
Like poor Mady...so many people call this child nasty names...make fun of her and insult her.This is a 9 year old child.She is the real victim in this mess,unlike kate.Mady has no say,know ones listens to this child.

Mady isnt playing a role...Mady isnt acting...Mady is just trying to live the life she was dealt.This child has so much pain and no one is there to help her.

These kids need child labor laws...they are screaming for them.If thier own parents dont care about protecting them...who will/can?

BerksPa said...

All the Gosselin children have been typecast and it's sad. The whole introduction to the first couple of seasons eluded to that fact...
the parents set those children up for public scrutiny and opinion from day-one as to how 'they' wanted the public to perceive the children before they even came into their own.

Mady unfortunately got dealt the shorter end of the stick as the show went along. She's a strong opinionated young lady, thrust into something she had no control over and her only examples as to how to behave were her parents. Kate more so in the latter year. It's hard to watch. My hope is that there are so good solid role models at her school.

A Pink Straight Jacket For Kate said...

First let me say that I LOVE MADY!

The children actors from Little House On The Prairie were very fortunate to be in such a supportive atmosphere- no doubt because of the late, great Michael Landon.

May Rep. Murt, Mr. Paul Petersen, and all the former child actors have a very positive outcome, so that all children like Mady and her siblings will be protected.

Save the Gosselin 8!!!!

Anonymous said...

'Gosselin Law' - Former kid stars to testify at hearing

Former kid TV stars from "Little House on the Prairie" and "Lassie" are expected to testify Thursday in Harrisburg at a hearing on a bill designed to protect children working in reality TV shows like Kate Gooselin's "Kate Plus 8," which is filmed in Pennsylvania.
Alison Arngrim and Nellie Oleson, from "Little House," along with Jon Provost, who played Timmy on "Lassie," are expected to testify before the Pennsylvania House Labor Committee, which is consiedring Rep. Tom Murt's Bill 2515.
They arrived in Harrisburg Wednesday to join Paul Petersen, who played Jeff Stone in "The Donna Reed Show," which ran on ABC from 1958 to '66. Petersen and the other former child stars are there to lobby legislators on the need for reform in child labor laws.
It’s expected that Arngrim, Provost and Petersen will discuss the need for set teachers (currently not required in Pennsylvania) and how reality TV must be regulated like so-called scripted TV in their Thursday morning testimony.
Also testifying will be representatives from State Department of Labor and Industry, and representatives from the MPAA and the Screen Actors Guild.

The hearing is expected to be broadcast by PCN www.pcntv.com Pennsylvania's version of C-SPAN.
(I hope the link posted right - if not type in this in the address bar: www.pcntv.com


“I’m delighted Alison and Jon will be on hand to share the lessons learned from their years on the frontlines,” Murt said in an email to the Sun. “I’m certain they will help the legislature understand how critical it is that Pennsylvania reforms its antiquated child labor laws.”
The hearing has attracted nationwide attention.

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/zontv/2010/09/former_child_stars_to_testify.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+entertainment_tv_blog+%28Z+on+TV%29

Anonymous said...

oops - i forgot to include the time of the hearing. 9:00 am EST

Markiesnana said...

Mady is also the one who drew a picture of a camera and posted a sign for the cameras to keep out.
Add that to her mother's cruel and uncaring comments about her teeth when needing braces, withholding water from her when everyone could see it on a TV interview and the time that Mady expressed that she hated her life.
This girl has a difficult road ahead of her simply because of six new siblings arriving and the constant media, along with the forced filming.

JudyK said...

Starz22, that was an excellent post. I LOVE Mady--I love her spunk and the way she stands up to Kate's control and B.S.--one little kid who is smart way beyond her years, but I worry about her, just as I worry about all the children. I would quit worrying if Jon were given sole custody. In my dreams, Jon has the house and kids and the dogs have been returned to a loving family.

fidosmommy said...

Alison dealt with all the negative BEFORE there was Facebook, blogging and other internet access to discuss people at will. She had to deal with it face-to-face or at least within a confined area. Mady may be protected at that
super duper school of hers, but the Internet has been ablaze with hateful things about this little girl. I can't believe Mady will escape this unscathed. She has already been labeled and labels don't peel off easily at all. We can thank her doting parents for this, can't we?

Add to this, Mady doesn't exactly have an overly happy home life either, I would suspect.
There may not be molestation going on (and I assume there is not) but it is not a quiet, safe haven for her with an overly controlling mother who leaves for long periods of time and
shows interest when the cameras are rolling. Mady needs a rock of stability for herself. If Michael Landon was that for Alison, then God bless him. Who is Mady's Michael? Jon? Not if he's not allowed near her when she needs him.
Not if Mommy is griping about how he doesn't pull his weight with the kids. Not if Kate can help it. Hence she has offered Mady Steve. Whoopee. Another person who leaves his family for long periods and doesn't shut her banshee mother up. Where is her "angel"?

Anonymous said...

If you want to listen

http://pcntv.com/pcnplus/

Administrator said...

The woman speaking right now from some kind of entertainment agency is a piece of work. She wants the parents to run the trust accounts. That is the WHOLE POINT of what so many people are saying, PARENTS CANNOT BE TRUSTED WITH THEIR KIDS MONEY.

Khater said...

I really just cannot believe in this day and age and in the supposed 'greatest country on earth' that child exploitation can occur. And not many people raise an eye.
Sure it is not the sex trade happening in other countries, or child poverty or labour...but come on!
These children are being made to work - and YES IT IS WORK!!! and they are not being afforded anything an adult would get. Could you imagine how many adults would put up with a job that gave them zero privacy (when was the last time your boss followed you to the bathroom, taped it, and sent it around the office?), and no regular hours. No breaks. No water or food on a regular schedule. It IS child labour. They are not even getting money set aside for them (only a small portion now that Khate was FINALLY made to do it, after all the lies she said about things being set for them).
It makes me sick. And mad.
/rant

JudyK said...

Administrator said... The woman speaking right now from some kind of entertainment agency is a piece of work. She wants the parents to run the trust accounts. That is the WHOLE POINT of what so many people are saying, PARENTS CANNOT BE TRUSTED WITH THEIR KIDS MONEY.
_________________________________

Oh brother!!! @@@@@

cathy518 said...

Mady for president!

Miss Behavin' said...

Mady has absolutely been typecast as the "mean" one. I am a teacher, and 2 years ago a group of kids were playing "Jon and Kate Plus 8" on the playground at recess. I heard two of the kids yelling and stomping their feet and I thought perhaps the kids were having a typical playground spat. I walked over to intervene and they all assured me they weren't really fighting, they were playing J&K+8 and one kid was Kate and one kid was Mady and they were playing the parts by yelling and having tantrums.

Barbara said...

I'm going to go against the grain here and say I think what we have seen and are seeing is what Kate was like when she was a little girl with Mady. The big difference is that Kate did not have to live in front of a camera, with all her bad moments highlighted for entertainment for some other people. She didn't have You tube videos of herself with all kinds of vile things said and done about her. She didn't have a mother who praced around half nude on magazine covers and who wore totally inappropriate clothing with her fake boobs hanging out to be photographed every day of the week. And she didn't have a personal pap to follow her around photographing every move she made. It's just sad all the way around for Mady and for all of them. Very, very sad. It's so obvious now to everyone but a few maladjusted fans who think these children should perform for their entertainment weekly that this has gone too far, way too far.

I personally don't think these hearings will accomplish anything for the G8. It's too late. They will be 7 in May. Even if they were told to stop filming today Kate and TLC would keep her in the spotlight just like they did last year by letting her go on all the talk shows spewing her lies about Jon and then when he was forced to back down the kids were back and so were the ratings. The people that make me want to barf the most are people like Joy Behar who stab Kate when she isn't around and then when she gets face to face with her on the View she is her good friend. The kids don't have a chance.

Kat said...

I noticed on the school episode this past week (saw it online) that Mady has really turned into more of the nurturing mother that they kids need. She was going around the table helping them and being nice to all the little kids while mom barked lunch orders. It shows another side to her.
I really think that Mady is tired of her mom's bull**** and doesn't want to lie about it. I noticed when Kate fussed about having to take the uniform pants to the tailor, she mentioned a name and mady, standing nearby, corrected her on the name.
Reminds me of a kid I know. He is now a teen, almost adult, but he is on to his lying mother. He tells us that he knows his mom exagerates and lies about things and he just has to laugh at it to get by without going stir crazy. Sad that kids are smarter than their parents sometimes.

Hippie Chick said...

I fear Maddy will have the biggest problems in life. She may turn to drugs, or alcohol to dull the pain of having a mother who didn't care, & a father that wasn't there enough. And being type-casted as a bitch at 7 years old? How harsh! There are facebook pages dedicated alone to that! She will see this, if she hasn't already. If you were a mother, & KNEW that there were things out there that had horrible public opinions about your child, wouldn't you want to do something to protect them? But we are talking about Kate here. All she cares about is her fame. She does not take into consideration her daughter's feelings. I feel so bad for that girl. I don't watch, so I don't know how Mady acts, but from what I read, she is a strong child with conviction, and calls her mom out on her BS. Hopefully, she'll stay strong, get away, not go to the dark side, & find a therapist who will help her overcome living with a narcissistic mother.

BeDoneNow said...

I think even the fact that we are using the word 'typecast' here, is a huge problem. these children have not been CAST in anything! this is their lives, their real lives! And that is something the sheeple have no comprehension of at all. These are the REAL children who have been REALLY sold and their REAL lives have been manipulated for public entertainment by their REAL parents.

If this were a casting issue, these eight children would be able to punch out, go home, and have REAL lives for a few hours a week. They could grow out of the bratty-child roles and be recast. And frankly they would have more legal protections.

Typecasting? At what point does that 9 year old little girl get to say "I am not really Madelyn Gosselin - I just play her on TV."?

Sorry if this sounds snippy. I get frustrated with those who think this is all just a fun TV show.

Dani said...

BeDoneNow, I share your frustration.
My opinion about this show changed when I saw all the FB pages dedicated to the spirited child's behavior. As a parent, I'd stop the show then and there but instead it went on and on, making the wonderful, brilliant child look worse and worse.

silimom said...

Wonderful post!

IMO, yes Jon seems like a more hands on parent but please remember he has stated since last spring that what he wants is a more equitable (and enforced) visitation schedule and a modification of his child support order. He does not want his kids full time. So Jon will not be the knight in shining armor ridiing in to rescue the kids. I just don't want to see people dissapointed when that doesn't happen in Novembor. There will be no 'trial of the century' ala Little Gloria Vanderbilt, wherevall the dirty linen is aired and Jon gets the house and the kids. The house was awarded to Kate (who probably had to pay Jon his share of the equity) - Jon has to get his own place if he wants a house.

I like Jon the better of the two and it seems like he's trying to live a quiet life (albeit funded by TLC) so I wish him well. As my daddy used to say, it will be what it will be.

PA Mom ALSO said...

The PA bill that is being being proposed is to protect ALL kids in reality television, regardless of their age. Kids over seven need protection, too, and at the heart of the matter is the set teacher who overseas not only their educational needs, but everything regarding the safety of the children. Even if the Gosselins will be seven in May, these laws will be in place for them, as well as for Mady and Cara. It's not too late for them, or for all kids whose parents see their children are little moneymakers.

PA Mom ALSO said...

"As my daddy used to say, it will be what it will be"

++++++++++++++++++++

Or, as Doris Day would sing, "que sera sera."

BeDoneNow said...

I think even the fact that we are using the word 'typecast' here, is a huge problem. these children have not been CAST in anything! this is their lives, their real lives! And that is something the sheeple have no comprehension of at all. These are the REAL children who have been REALLY sold and their REAL lives have been manipulated for public entertainment by their REAL parents.

If this were a casting issue, these eight children would be able to punch out, go home, and have REAL lives for a few hours a week. They could grow out of the bratty-child roles and be recast. And frankly they would have more legal protections.

Typecasting? At what point does that 9 year old little girl get to say "I am not really Madelyn Gosselin - I just play her on TV."?

Sorry if this sounds snippy. I get frustrated with those who think this is all just a fun TV show.

Kat said...

I noticed on the school episode this past week (saw it online) that Mady has really turned into more of the nurturing mother that they kids need. She was going around the table helping them and being nice to all the little kids while mom barked lunch orders. It shows another side to her.
I really think that Mady is tired of her mom's bull**** and doesn't want to lie about it. I noticed when Kate fussed about having to take the uniform pants to the tailor, she mentioned a name and mady, standing nearby, corrected her on the name.
Reminds me of a kid I know. He is now a teen, almost adult, but he is on to his lying mother. He tells us that he knows his mom exagerates and lies about things and he just has to laugh at it to get by without going stir crazy. Sad that kids are smarter than their parents sometimes.

Administrator said...

The woman speaking right now from some kind of entertainment agency is a piece of work. She wants the parents to run the trust accounts. That is the WHOLE POINT of what so many people are saying, PARENTS CANNOT BE TRUSTED WITH THEIR KIDS MONEY.

A Pink Straight Jacket For Kat said...

First let me say that I LOVE MADY!

The children actors from Little House On The Prairie were very fortunate to be in such a supportive atmosphere- no doubt because of the late, great Michael Landon.

May Rep. Murt, Mr. Paul Petersen, and all the former child actors have a very positive outcome, so that all children like Mady and her siblings will be protected.

Save the Gosselin 8!!!!