SAG blasts ‘Kid Nation’ again

Union alleges mistreatment of children

For a second time, the Screen Actors Guild has blasted “Kid Nation” over its alleged mistreatment of children.

In a statement issued concurrently with Wednesday’s premiere of the CBS skein, SAG’s Young Performers Committee said the show represented “a step backwards in terms of children’s rights.”

The controversy was sparked last month when the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office announced it was reviewing complaints that the show may have violated child labor laws. CBS and exec producer Tom Forman have asserted that no laws were broken and have insisted that none of the show’s participants were in danger during production.

“We find it inexcusable that the producers on this show did not take all measures possible to ensure protections on the set of ‘Kid Nation,’ ” the SAG panel said. “According to press reports, the show’s producers are already planning a second season in the Czech Republic, and we are concerned about the safety of the next group of children recruited for this program.”

The committee issued a similar announcement last month, saying it was “shocked” at the reports.

AFTRA, which reps the hosts on the show, announced last month it was investigating whether the participants may have been covered by the provisions of its contract. It said Thursday that the producer and network have been “candid and forthcoming” but said it will not make any further disclosure until the probe’s concluded.

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