Alec and Hilaria Baldwin are accused of kid exploitation of their latest reality TV show

As gossip site TMZ wrote, it's “bizarre” enough that Alec Baldwin announced Tuesday that he’ll star along with his wife and 7 young children in a brand new TLC reality show about their hectic family life – just weeks before he faces trial for manslaughter in reference to the shooting death of camerawoman Halyna Hutchins.

Finally, if convicted, Baldwin could face prison time, which could undoubtedly result in a delay in filming his latest family-related reality TV show. said TMZ.

But beyond the odd timing of this announcement, this profession move also reflects desperation for him and his influential wife, Hilaria Baldwin, and potentially introduces their children to a world of entertainment that has a problematic history of exploitation and psychological damage.

“Find me one adult who was on a reality show as a child and says it was good for their mental and physical health. There is no such thing,” one person wrote under Alec Baldwin's Instagram post announcing that the family show “The Baldwins” will probably be released in 2025.

“Please don’t do this to your children,” the person said.

US actor Alec Baldwin and his wife Hilaria Baldwin arrive at the PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on May 18, 2023. This year's gala, hosted by US comedian Colin Jost, honors Canadian writer and producer Lorne Michaels. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
US actor Alec Baldwin and his wife Hilaria Baldwin arrive on the PEN America Literary Gala on the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on May 18, 2023. This 12 months's gala, hosted by US comedian Colin Jost, honors Canadian author and producer Lorne Michaels. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Someone else noted that Alec and Hilaria Baldwin often complain about paparazzi taking photos of them and their children after they leave their New York apartment.

“You have always disliked the attention your children get from cameras on the street,” the person wrote. “This is about to multiply beyond imagination.”

Dr. Drew Pinsky, the famous internist and addiction specialist, isn’t any stranger to exploiting people's real-life dramas for entertainment purposes on “Celebrity Rehab.” But even he has raised serious concerns concerning the use of youngsters within the voyeuristic medium of reality TV.

“Children, by definition, cannot give informed consent; only parents can – and reality shows generally do not cast adults who are at the peak of their sanity,” Pinsky said somewhat presciently in a 2009 interview. with The Wrap“They are severe narcissists who are obsessed with fame.”

Alec and Hilaria Baldwin's many vocal critics would say the couple is narcissistic. The 66-year-old “30 Rock” star has for several months hinted at the potential of doing a reality TV show concerning the ups and downs of his stressful life along with his many children, ranging in age from 19 months to 10 years.

Such a show also matches the skilled ambitions of his attention-seeking wife, Hilaria Baldwin. The 40-year-old influencer was attempting to construct a lucrative profession as a way of life and parenting expert. Journalist Jo Piazza wrote in 2020 that she became known for her “candid” Instagram posts about her pregnancies and life as a mother of several children.

However, Hilaria Baldwin's profession as a way of life influencer fell into crisis when she became embroiled in a scandal based on incriminating evidence that she had faked a Spanish accent and identity for over a decade.

The couple's once outstanding position within the New York media and celebrity world was further shaken when Baldwin was involved within the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust.” The actor said the shooting and his ongoing prosecution have hurt his probabilities of getting work on film or television projects, jobs he presumably must pay his high legal bills and support his very large family.

Alec Baldwin talks on the phone within the car parking zone outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe, N.M., after being questioned a few shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, officials said. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP) (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via Associated Press)

For a time during Alec Baldwin's personal and skilled crisis, his wife posted multiple pictures of their children almost day by day as usual, including potentially private content concerning the family's personal life and their children misbehaving and looking out sad or distressed. Although Hilaria Baldwin's posts have died down somewhat within the months leading as much as her husband's July trial in New Mexico, she still seems desperate to make her children the fundamental characters in a Baldwin family show.

According to the couple, that show will now be on television. In the sizzle reel shared on Baldwin's Instagram, the “Boss Baby” actor promised to ask audiences “into our home to experience the highs and lows, the good, the bad, the wild and the crazy.”

Their children are Ilaria Catalina Irena, María Lucía Victoria, Eduardo “Edu” Pao Lucas, Romeo Alejandro David, Leonardo Ángel Charles, Rafael Thomas and Carmen Gabriela. Baldwin also said, “Home is where we love to be.”

However, “The Baldwins” will air on a network that has produced reality TV shows featuring children prior to now, a few of which have raised serious questions on the potential well-being and safety of their young stars. After all, TLC is home to the Duggar family's “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” “Dance Moms” and “19 Kids and Counting.”

Such shows have come under fire for forcing children to live their lives in front of the camera from a young age and potentially showing them in private situations where they may later feel exploited or shamed. Much like the kids of influencer parents who overshare about their children's lives on social media, reality TV kids must go about their day by day lives expecting to be filmed.

NEW YORK, NY - March 20: Carmen Gabriela Baldwin, Alec Baldwin, Rafael Thomas Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 20: Carmen Gabriela Baldwin, Alec Baldwin, Rafael Thomas Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend the New York premiere of “The Boss Baby” at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on March 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

In each influencer and reality TV situations, children are ultimately playing “versions of themselves” in front of an audience of 1000’s and even hundreds of thousands of strangers, said Leah Plunkett, a law professor on the University of New Hampshire and writer of the book “Sharentood.”

This can deprive children of personal time and space to play, where they will rise up to mischief and make mistakes, Plunkett told this news organization in 2021. Plunkett said play is needed for kids's growth and for them to realize “freedom of action and autonomy.”

Another problem with reality TV is that children are essentially sent to work by their parents without their consent and without legal protection, says sociologist Hilary Levey Friedman. in a 2022 essay for Psychology Today.

Since 1939, children who “perform” in movies or television shows have been largely protected by what's referred to as Coogan's Law, Friedman reported in her essay. This California law ensures that 15% of a toddler actor's earnings are placed in a locked trust account until she or he becomes an adult. Coogan's Law also comprises provisions that protect the welfare of kid actors in other ways, corresponding to limiting the period of time they spend on set and requiring that they attend school.

But children on reality TV will not be entitled to the identical protections from child labor because they will not be recognized as “cast members,” Friedman said. One reason for this anomaly, Friedman said, is “a contractual nuance.” On reality TV shows, children will not be given contracts that will not be related to their parents, she explained. The child essentially becomes a “bonus character” standing in for the parents and subsequently doesn’t enjoy the complete legal protections of other working minors.

The potential exploitation of youngsters on reality TV was made clear within the case of the Duggar family. “Shining Happy People,” a documentary concerning the Duggar family, revealed the abuse and mistreatment that among the Duggar offspring endured during their time on the show. One of the eldest siblings, Jill Duggar Dillard, also stated that she and her siblings were never paid for his or her work on the show.

Maddie Ziegler, the kid star of “Dance Moms,” also spoke out. an interview in 2022 to speak concerning the downsides of life as an 8-year-old reality TV show star. Aside from missing 50 days of college one 12 months and sometimes staying up past midnight to learn latest dance moves, Ziegler also told Cosmopolitan that she was pressured by producers to tackle the role of a “brat” on the show and in interviews.

“I just did whatever they told me to do because I thought that's what you do,” she said. She also felt the pressure of being referred to as the girl who “always wins.” Then, when she didn't win, she needed to live out the agony of her defeat on camera, and it felt like “the end of the world.”

Pinsky agreed that reality TV shows can “expose kids to a level of public scrutiny, shame and failure” that the majority children cannot handle at such a young age.

Of course, fans of Alec and Hilaria Baldwin and their seven “Baldwinitos” are excited concerning the prospect of getting an intimate look into the dynamics of this unusual and outstanding family.

“This is so exciting! I can't wait,” one person said. “This is going to be fabulous!!!” said one other, while yet one more person posted a heart emoji and said: “Can't wait to tune in and see your beautiful family!”

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