New Mexico A.g. To Probe Kid Nation
The growing controversy over CBS's reality show Kid Nation, has prompted the New Mexico attorney general to reopen an investigation into whether CBS and the show's producers violated child-labor laws and other welfare rules. Recent reports indicate that several of the show's young contestants were injured in the course of performing dangerous and unsupervised tasks and that their parents were required to sign contracts that essentially suspended their parental rights during the production. Today's (Friday) New York Times also quoted officials of two other state agencies, the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and the Department of Workforce Solutions, as saying that state law required that the show be reviewed and licensed but that CBS never contacted them. CBS claims that the children were not paid employees and therefore not subject to state employment rules regarding children. In an interview with today's Los Angeles Times, Anne Henry, co-founder of BizParentz, which assists child actors, applauded the reopening of the investigation. "I would also hope that the individual states where the kids are from also would also look into truancy issues for each of those children," she said. The controversy is not expected to delay the September 19 debut of Kid Nation.