Friday, October 23, 2009

File Under Duh!

Will 'Balloon Boy' Be Scarred For Life?

Categories: Behaving Badly, In The News

Falcon Heene, aka "Balloon Boy," is a victim of his parent's desire for fame. And some experts are saying that the scars of this experience will stay with him for a long time.

The Daily News quotes a number of mental health professionals as saying that Falcon may face a "struggle" to create a life for himself outside of his family. By forcing their son to participate in this hoax, and then lie about it on national television, Richard and Mayumi Heene could be setting up the boy for a lifetime of "anxiety and depression." Others, such as DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall, say that the explosion of children on reality shows is nothing more than "exploitation."

This is something that some of us have been saying for years. There is no reason to put children on reality shows. None.

Well, there is one reason -- money.

No matter what TLC wants to say now, "Jon & Kate Plus 8" was a huge money maker for the network. And the ratings got higher when things got worse for the family. TLC only pulled the plug after papa Jon Gosselin began making noise about taking the kids off the show.

It finally took a maniacal, fame-seeking faux-scientist to pretend that his son had floated away in an aluminum UFO catcher, and then watching said kid vomit on national television, for the big thinkers to notice that perhaps children who appear on reality shows are being exploited.

As for Falcon being scarred for life by the experience, let's not jump to conclusions. Things have worked out well for a lot of child stars in the past. But the title of a recent AOL Television article, "10 Former TV Child Stars Who Aren't Crackheads," pretty much says it all.

Falcon's case may be more dramatic; he did throw up on TV. Twice.

Let's not pretend this is a new problem.

None of this lets the Heene parents off the hook. What they allegedly did was disgusting. But at least this incident will probably spare Falcon and his brothers from appearing on their own reality show. With stories like this one, we have to take our silver linings where we can.

What do you think? Is a parent who puts their children on a reality show just using them?

1 comment:

Rox said...

Since I was a big Jon and Kate fan from the get go, I think that they both got a touch of the Fame Flu as things progressed and they became more popular. I think their initial intention was that they needed a way to help support their family but then it turned into a shitstorm the way these things often do.

That Heene guy? He's insane and his kids should be taken away. That little boy was stressed right out over this incident. It's sad when the parents lose sight of what's best for the kids. That goes for both cases.