A PENNSYLVANIA lawmaker is preparing to go to battle over special work permits issued to the Gosselin children, stars of the TLC network’s popular reality show “Kate Plus Eight.”
State Rep. Thomas Murt, a Republican whose district includes parts of Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, believes that the permits were issued improperly, although the Department of Labor and Industry says that they’re perfectly legal.
Both sides agree that the state’s Child Labor Law, under which the department issues the permits, needs to be revamped. In June, Murt introduced a bill to do just that, following a two-year, high-profile investigation by the department into a complaint about the children’s welfare on the set of the show, which is shot in Wernersville, Berks County.
The Labor Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Sept. 23, when amendments are expected to be introduced as well. Former child actors are expected to attend the hearing in support of the bill.
The law clearly addresses children ages 7 and older who can obtain special permits to work in movies. But what about the 6-year-old Gosselin sextuplets – Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel? The law doesn't appear to cover children under 7 in TV performances.
The department issued “special performance permits” to the show’s producers to allow the sextuplets and their 9-year-old twin sisters, Cara and Mady, to appear on the show.
But copies supplied to the Daily News by Murt’s office show that the permits were issued April 20 – about 3 1/2 years after the original show, “Jon and Kate Plus Eight,” went into production in 2007.