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The Ethics of Show Business Kids: Paul Petersen's Crusade


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I'm always curious about the mob mentality since I'm generally such an oddball and quite immune to it myself (never follow fashion trends, couldn't care less who doesn't like it, don't own an iPod, etc.). Assuming that "the masses" loved the loud, rather obnoxious father act (compare and contrast him with the gentle and respectful Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom guy), WHY would any rational adult transfer that adulation and worship to his daughter; granted, they look a lot alike, but do people think he "lives in her" or something? I can see why the producers who made money off him would want to continue to make money off her, but why would people go for this? The whole thing, weird (and, yes, child exploitation)...

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That said, though, I do find the "poor me" victim stories of these stars from the 40s and 50s a bit tiresome; move on, already??? I can see establishing laws to protect the rights of young actors, but not appearing endlessly whining over it...

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I agree Otterhere. These people from years ago made plenty of movie being child actors. They do seem to whine over it. I don't here many child actors moaning and groaning about anything. Do you ever hear Jerry Mathers from Leave It To Beaver whining? Or how about the Brady Bunch kids? Either they say nothing, or they had no complaints about it.

 

About Bindi Irwin, it is child exploitation and very disturbing especially when this kid acts like she's an adult and she's only 8 years old. It's like watching a frightening movie. At first I thought "what a cute kid", but then I started thinking it's not normal for a kid to act so grown up. I thought the crocodile hunter Steve Irwin was exhuberant and I see that in his daughter. I'm just hoping she doesn't meet the same fate as her late father. I can't see how a mother could let the kid near dangerous animals. Maybe they should start her off with hamsters and gold fish and she could progress to crocodiles when she's an adult.

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I was just listening to all these things on the news and was very relieved to see everyone in here sharing my opinions...

 

Here in North Carolina they are banning the movie (with Fanning) from theatres, claiming it as child pornography. What else could it be, right? You've got a child... In bed with a man... In front of a camera.

 

But it's acting, right? Yeah, so is child pornography (for the child... who doesn't understand what's going on)... And folks, that's what this is. Don't be fooled by what's going to occur at the Oscars (God help us).

 

But about the Croc Hunter's little girl... I totally disagree with most of the things and pre-judgements that have been stated here. I think this little girl wants to carry on her father's legacy... Maybe she didn't act the way many wanted her to, they wanted to see a little girl destroyed crying in front of the world that her Daddy basically killed himself. Could it just be this is this child's way of grieving? Or that she just might understand that her father did everything he could for the preservation and fair treatment of animals and she doesn't want that missing from the world? Her dad is gone... She doesn't want people to forget what he stood for. Just my thoughts on it.

 

bhf1940

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That's a good take on it Bobhopefan. I respect your opinion, but I don't think it's responsible of a parent to place an 8-year old child in harms way. This kid will be in her own t.v. program with wild animals and is splashed in front of every camera and on every talk show. I just think it's too much for an 8-year old kid. I think a parent has to draw the line somewhere - especially when the parent is agreeable to letting a child get near crocodiles, snakes and other animals. Something just doesn't seem right about the whole thing. Just my opinion.

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I haven't seen Bindi Irwin, or her mother, or her show, so I'm strictly speaking from the viewpoint of a mother, grandmother, and woman in general. My heart is in my mouth sometimes with the kids at the petting zoo in our area. Some of those animals are born bigger than an 8 year old, and I always worry that one might go haywire sometime if another kid pokes it in the wrong way. The idea of letting an 8 year old anywhere near a crocodile is chilling. I don't care how much the child wants to do it, who's the mother? How does a child know she wants to carry on daddy's work? She remembers the fun she had with him. Stupid mom should say, "You can carry on daddy's work in ten years when you're an adult - all the stuff you did before was while daddy stood inches away, in case, but he's not here now".

 

As for child actors, yes the adult ones should get over it, unless they want to help Petersen in his work. Fanning's been around movie sets for 7 years now, she knows what goes on. I'm not happy with this situation, but at least she is most likely mature enough to understand the story, however, the article in which she's quoted sounds very much like she is parroting someone elses' ideas (or perhaps their arguments used to convince her to do it). My post on 'The High and the Mighty' might give newcomers an idea of my idea of how I view certain things.

 

Anne

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Oh, but I agree with you... A child should not be allowed to go around an animal that could possibly kill her. The child obviously doesn't understand that animals are animals, and will always be wild. Her father didn't always think of this first and formost... It would be absolutely frightening to think the same thing happening with this little girl. My post was mostly in reference to her grievance, or way of expressing her loss.

 

Are they letting this kid go around crocodiles? I thought she was going to do a cute little show talking about insects and kangaroos. *lol*

 

Just one more thing on the subject of child grief... My grandmother resently died, and I have several very young cousins. One was about six and was at the funeral with her Aunt. I remember her crying constantly during the service, but always looking back to see if someone was watching her. Don't always expect tears from such a young child. Like my little cousin, if there are tears they are usually in response to those around them, not the person that has passed on. It's very hard for children to understand exactly what death is... In the beginning, I would say most children perceive it no differently than when someone leaves them for a short period.

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My condolences on your grandmother.

 

I saw Bindi interviewed and she loves being around crocodiles - she thinks "they're real beauties"...she said it just like her dad. Then she said she loves snakes too. So I guess she has been up close and personal to them. Hopefully her show will feature her around much more docile animals - like a baby lamb or goat.

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Hopefully her show will feature her around much more docile animals - like a baby lamb or goat.

 

I agree... Or bunnies and puppies! But you know, there's something else here take into consideration... What sort of impression will this give other children? Before we were dealing with a grown man, now we have a child. What will this teach other youngsters on what to play with outside?

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Here in North Carolina they are banning the movie (with Fanning) from theatres, claiming it as child pornography.

 

I'm glad to hear that, bhf1940. Good for North Carolina.

 

Now, that's not to say that the **** won't be snapping up the DVDs, but at least this victory should give some comfort to Peterson.

 

I applaud him for the way he stood up to Colmes, who was disgusting in trying to present an opposing side, even if it was for the intent of Devil's Advocate.

 

I am sure the film will get much undeserved attention at the Oscars. Which, thanks to the toilet mouthed Borat, I won't be watching.

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I don't see the fuss over Bindi Irwin. My understanding is that Steve Irwin grew up the same way, surrounded by animals. When I was eight, I would have loved the opportunity she has. Unfortunately, I grew up in arid and semi-arid regions, so there was little to play with other than lizards, snakes, birds, and insects. And the occasional twenty-five foot fall out of a tree. She's supervised, so she's presumably safe. At my first baseball practice in the infield at age six, my nose was smashed by a line drive. Supervised. Kids play football, and are severely injured, supervised. Cheerleaders fall off a pyramid, supervised. Animals are a lot cooler, anyway.

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But do you really think even if a parent supervises a child with a crocodile, it won't bite? I mean if you are in a cage with a lion or tiger - even though an animal trainer is in the cage, you would feel completely safe that these wild animals wouldn't take a bite of you?

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No, I don't think children are ever safe around animals. I very rarely ever let my nephew around any of my dogs... And they are domesticated. I'd be lying if I said I'd let any child (especially my own) around a wild dangerous animal.

 

But perhaps with the right precautions, she could do a little show on these animals. I don't know what the plan is with the show or what it will entail for this little girl to do. I'd have to research it further to really give you an accurate opinion on her doing this show. I guess it all depends on the details...

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I'll be watching the oscars just to see if my attitude about today's movies is as warped as it seems to be from listening to some of the posts here. Oddly I usually agree with Brad on most things although I found brokeback to be a pleasant enough little movie with good camera work and a lovely musical score, but I was riveted to Crash and felt it deserved as many cudos as it could get. Although the Globes generally predicts oscar, this is one year I hope they differ greatly except in some instances. I've heard several clips from Dreamgirls and it does have the screeching type of singing I referred to earlier in another thread, the type that is reminiscent of Mariah Carey is not my idea of good singing, but that's me.

 

Children and wild animals are still a noooooo to me, but as for accidents in child play whether supervised or not, accidents happen, sometimes frightfully, but that doesn't mean children should go looking for them because Bindi Irwin said so.

 

Anne

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Hi Anne,

 

It's not that I hate Crash or didn't think it had some merit. For example, I loved the sequence with Matt Dillon at the car crash, that may be one of the most powerful scenes you'll see in a modern movie. The scene where the guy picks up the hitchhiker is pretty good too. But overall, I think it's a well intentioned mess. It's hard for me to get into movies where there are 5 or 6 stories going on at once, to me it's hard to get invested in any of them. I think they were all supposed to be connected somehow, I mean besides the racial issues, but I couldn't think right now how. I suspect it was a political win, because Brokeback had won best director and usually best director wins best picture. Whether anyone would admit it or not, I suspect they didn't want Brokeback to win too many awards because of the gay thing. I could be wrong, those are just some of my thoughts.

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I'm pretty sure 'Queen' will take most of the honors at oscar.

 

I watched 'Crash' three times in one weekend and it wasn't until the third time that I realized the connection. It's like a chain where each link connects to the next. Each link has someone, or something that connects it to somewhere else in the movie. The black car is the first connection, then the cop is and it goes on from there.

 

Anne

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I remember the furor when 1978's "Pretty Baby" starring Brooke Shields was released. I avoided this pictures at the time because I even then thought this picture exploited children in a perverted way. In my opinion these types of films are second only to "Snuff" films which are enjoyed by the deranged. I know some will disagree with my analogy but I am going by my standards. There is nothing entertaining to me about a rape of a woman let alone a twelve year old girl. I would rather see a marathon of Laurel & Hardy and laugh than be disgusted with yet another Hollywood attempt to cash in on shock movies. Child actors are fine..Elizabeth Taylor...Roddy McDowell...Dickie Moore....Daryl Hickman..Mickey Rooney etc. But I bet if you interview any of them they would voice their displeasure of the sleaze that's coming out of Hollywood these days!

 

Bartlett

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mrsl, I didn't see either Crash or Dreamgirls, so I can't comment on those. Crash sounds like Memento, which was verrrry hard to follow and which put me off the film. In retrospect, if I had it to rewatch over and over, I might like it, as I did the Cruise film with the frogs falling from the sky (can't remember the name). I generally like weird films.

 

On Dreamgirls, if it involves the melisma (miasma?) screeching of AI and Whitney Houston, I consider myself fortunate for not having seen it.

 

On children and animals and pedophiles, HOPEFULLY much of that is in the control of the parents. Unfortunately, since a kid can NOT be kept chained to a radiator until they are 18, a parent has to take a deep breath and allow their kid to be in the company of other kids and adult males and adult women in the world. All potential setups for tragedy.

 

As are any situations where a kid interacts with strange or family dogs or cats or rats or bats. ANY animal can turn in an instant on a human it previously adored and inflict damage via a bite or via an infection from the bacteria from that bite. NO animal is truly trustworthy, but we put our faith in dog and god, and go from there.

 

But a CROCODILE? Come on, Irwin's mommy is an opportunist. She is looking to make money from this kid's back, pure and simple. Fine. Let that be on her head. But if the kid ends up in the jaws of a crocodile some day, she has no one to blame but herself. Similar to the idiots in Australia who went around killing manta rays because Irwin was barbed by one. Even HE would admit it wasn't the manta ray's fault. It wasn't, it was a case of wrong place, wrong time. End of story. So, let Irwin Jr. do her show and dog help her.

 

As to Fanning? Same thing, she is not old enough to make this decision. Her mother is an opportunist. If something happens to her daughter later in life, if somehow she's screwed up because of this movie or worse as the result of a real life pervert, it's on her head. Paul Peterson is absolutely right, if she and others don't want to listen to him, that's their fault.

 

BUT, as with SOOOO much in today's world, it's about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

 

NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE IT.

 

Well, then, be my guest. Pay your nickel and take your chance.

 

And don't come crying to me if something happens.

 

Simple, eh? But it's not, these very irresponsible people who want to blame everyone else when something happens, who are galloping letigiously for the ambulance chasing lawyers at the first sign of trouble, even if they ate 3000 Big Macs and then are wondering why they are fat, are getting away with blaming everyone else for their troubles and the poor dumb public in America has to pay in the form of lawsuits settled to these morons. One way or another, we are all going to pay because we are allowing these idiots to be irresponsible and not take any personal responsibility.

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Bartlett, I was banned from Television Without Pity because I objected, violently, vocally and often, to the rape scene in the television show Rescue Me last season.

 

I was told, over and over, that it was NOT a rape scene. Oh no, it was a scene of violent love making between two dysfunctional adults. Bull, it was rape, pure and simple.

 

Even the WRITER came on the board and attempted to sell everyone (who fell all over him in their adulation, by the way) a bill of goods on how HE saw the dysfunctional sociology of these two characters and how the female really WANTED the ex-husband to force her into submission, blah, blah, blah.

 

Well, as per my usual, when I told the writer what I thought of his bull, and continued to tell everyone it was a rape scene, I was banned.

 

So I agree with you. Pretty Baby contained a scene that was child abuse, and it appears that the Fanning movie contains child abuse. Both of these are masquerading under the heading of art, and that is where it gets sticky. The talking head arguing with Paul Peterson was attempting to defend the Fanning movie under the umbrella of art, but thankfully NC saw it for the porn and abuse that it is.

 

But hey, my opinion is not widely held, so movies and scenes like this will go on and on.

 

At least I can persevere where animals are concerned via the AFHA, but children, it seems, don't have many more voices speaking out for them than do animals.

 

Hence my plan, when I rule the world, to automatically execute child and animal abusers, no questions asked.

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