Jon & Kate Backlash - TV is No Place to Announce Divorce
The Gosselins addressed their reality celebrity status in last night's show; Jon said that he was two hours late for the taping because "I had reservations about doing it, cause I didn't know what to say." Of course, he also criticized fans for their deep interest in the family's life. And then he went on to open up about his marriage and his hopes for the future, on camera, for those fans -- talking, of course, about the very things he was angry at viewers for wanting to know in the first place.
None of this is sitting well with those formerly close to the couple. Kate's brother, Kevin Kreider, said that he is "heartbroken" and "sad" about the news that his sister and brother-in-law are calling it quits. But it's not just the message that bothers him -- it's the medium: The announcement, he says, "was used as a teaser, used to gain ratings, without any regards for my nieces and nephews. It was really hurtful. We were really sad to see that."
Dave Raczkowski, MLIVE.com / AP
David Livingston, Getty Images
It's not just family who are upset about the televised announcement, though. ParentDish reader LS agrees with Kreider's assessment that this was all about ratings, but puts some of the blame on the network: "If TLC really cared about the Gosselin's marriage, they would have offered, at the first sign of trouble, marriage counseling at the very least. Probably the thing that would have saved this marriage -- or at least given it a fighting chance -- would have been for TLC to cancel the contract."
But what is really getting critics are the Gosselin's claims that they are both putting their children first. "Baltimore Sun" columnist David Zurawik is outraged: "I wonder if [viewers] feel exploited by TLC selling ads and making millions of dollars out of a show announcing a divorce that will not only leave eight kids with a shattered family -- but a video record of their family coming undone that will define them for the rest of their lives." And one real life mom -- and viewer -- wondered if TLC would be taping the moment when Jon and Kate sit the kids down at the table and explain that Daddy is moving out. It's not hard to imagine.
What do you think: Should the Gosselins have announced their split on the show? Did viewers have a right to hear from them, or should this have been a private matter for this very public family? Will you keep watching the show, or have you seen enough?
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.