Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus... Controversy?

Anyone who knows me knows I've been a huge supporter of the TLC reality television show Jon & Kate Plus 8 for the past few years. Like many other reality shows about big families, it's the premise that makes it intriguing: How does a young, normal American couple go about raising one set of twins and a set of sextuplets? But it's the specific people on this show, Jon and Kate to be exact, that have made it such a big hit.

As soon as I started watching the show, I immediately liked the young married couple on my screen. They were funny, quirky, and friendly. They were honest and candid about the difficulties of raising eight young children and were open with the fact that they, like all of us watching, are not perfect. But perhaps what was most endearing about the Gosselins, was their normalcy. They seemed like someone who could live next door to me, go to my church, or meet at a kids' play group. I always had the feeling watching the show that if I ever met Kate and could just talk to her one-on-one, we would be friends.

That being said, I've been as disturbed and saddened as anyone else with all the publicity surrounding the show the past few months. There's no need to recap it all here, suffice to say rumors of unfaithfulness have abounded- and been denied- on both sides of the marriage. The latest debate surrounding the show is whether TLC has violated child labor laws in the state of Pennsylvania. All of the gossip is mostly just what it seems- gossip. But there is undeniably some truth in Jon and Kate having marriage problems. This was confirmed from their own mouths on their season premiere Monday, May 25.

Jon & Kate Plus 8's season five premiere was one of the saddest shows I have ever watched. Towards the end of the episode, the producer interviewed the Gosslines sitting on the couch together, as they often did as of two seasons ago, and asked them questions about how their marriage was going and what was going to happen in the future. They were both very vague, Kate in an angry way and Jon much more apathetically. They even went so far as to bring up the actual topic of a possible impending divorce and the ramifications of such a move. But it was heartbreaking to see two people who were so obviously once in love and unified in raising their family sitting next to one another and talking about their marriage as if they hardly knew each other. It was like... well, something you would see on TV, or in a movie; except this isn't just TV, these are real people, real lives... a real family.

After watching the premiere, I couldn't stop thinking about the show, and the family behind it. Sadly, it took almost a whole day before it occurred to me to pray for the very real people behind all the tabloid headlines and gossip columns. And my heart ached for Gosselin family as I did.

I don't think there's any use in pointing fingers and casting blame. Everyone who has watched the show could make a list of where Jon and Kate has each gone wrong, and they could each make their own lists that would be even longer.

I do know that it's been apparent that the couple who just last season renewed their vows, publicly proclaiming to the millions who watch their show- and more importantly, their children- that they would always be together, has been growing apart the past year or more. By Jon and Kate's own admission, the increased popularity of their show, the release of two books (so far), the frequent filming, speaking engagements, and interviews has caused their lives to speed up to a frantic pace. It's been sad to watch the slow, but steady, decline.

As much as I love the show, and the Gosselin family, I can't promise that I will continue to watch if the couple continues on their current path. I will continue to love Jon, Kate, Cara, Mady, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Joel, Aiden, and Leah and will support them with my prayers. And I will not spread vicious gossip and rumors about them that only assist in tearing down a family that is just as real and fragile as my own. But I will not watch a show about a marriage falling apart as my own personal entertainment.

I don't feel I have a place to advise the Gosselins. After all, I don't have a television show, a published book, or even sextuplets or twins. I can't say what I would do if I were in their position, because I'm not. It's easy to say from the outside in what the answer is, much more difficult when you're in the middle of the storm. I can only say, from my limited and humble perspective, that I hope with all my heart that Jon and Kate would end the show before they would even consider ending their marriage. I do know that no television show, no book, no speaking engagement, and no amount of money is worth the price of a marriage.


  1. kate gosslin is a money grubbing control freak that has decided money is m ore important then saving her family jon is just as bas flaunting his affair in front of his wife,,,these are people who money is more important and free stuff that they receive is their way of life,,let the stupid gullible public support us,,,stop supporting this fiasco,,the children could not even take a crap without cameras in their faces,,,these people are sick,,,,take this showw off the air and raise your own brood the gosslins have been paid enough off the backs of their kids to support them nicely from now on if they have saved any of the money for the kids that is or have they spent 90 per cent of it on themselves,,i detest these people and hope they will be cancelled in the very near future,,i dont watch the show anymore but read about them and hear news reports on their liaisons with other people,,trips to utah for jon and his shackrat is waiting there for him how disgusting,,get a divorce and quit throwing it in someones face,,u both are disgusting

  2. Wow! Tell us how you really feel, "Anonymous". ;)

    This blog is a follow up to a more complete article I wrote on the show last year, published on Hubpages. I understand that the show and the family evokes strong feelings in people. They either love them or hate them.

    For myself, I follow Christ and do my best to live out God's Word. So even when I do disagree with someone, or see wrong in their lives, I'm still to love and show mercy. And even though the Gosselins have, in some way, brought their celebrity status upon themselves; they are still real people with real problems who need help, not just anger and hatred.

  3. I for one, am with you. I followed the show for a while now and the season premier just broke my heart. I love this family. The tabloids can really feed the fire when there is one. They are having a field day with them. Both have made very public mistakes and are suffering the consequences of their own mistakes. I feel that the kids are well taken care of. I'm sure the have "someone" there with them at all the time. The Media can be very mean just to get a story. And Jon and Kate are getting the full brunt of it all. I hope and pray that they do find their way back to the Lord. I really do hope that they will resign from doing the show, and get back what they had. Thanks for a great post!

  4. Thanks for reading and commenting, Thoughts of a Mommy! Glad to hear there are others who feel as I do. Too many are so quick to point fingers, cast blame, make judgments, or say they "got what they deserve".

    Keep praying for the Gosselins! I know I am.