Selling fame to kids

The LA Times has an article about an emerging trend in television programming for kids and teens: depicting teenagers who “get discovered” and become famous, usually as actors and/or singer.

Nickelodeon’s “iCarly,” 2009’s most-watched TV show among kids 2-11, according to the Nielsen Co., is about a girl who has attained a certain level of celebrity by producing and starring in her own Web series. Just a few years ago, by contrast, the channel’s hits involved the more traditional pains of not being popular (“Unfabulous”), adolescent sibling rivalry (“Drake & Josh”) and surviving school (“Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”).

The article asks, as should we ask ourselves: is emphasizing the importance of fame a healthy message for children? We know that effectively 0% of all kids will achieve a level of fame depicted in these shows. And we have seen the psychological toll that such fame takes on the many of the select few who do become famous.

I’m fascinated with social responsibility and the media. Have a read for yourself and share what you think.

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