The Economics Of Child Actors

September 2, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Marsha Mercer looked at the market for child actors:

  • Unlike those who work in the fast food and other industries, child actors aren’t given any special protections by federal law and thus are not entitled to minimum wage or overtime.
  • Instead regulations are left to the states – and 18 of them have no laws protecting child actors.
  • This has led to a lot of variability. In Pennsylvania children under the age of seven can appear in movies but not on television. In Kansas babies younger than 15 days cannot act.
  • Some require that parents divert 15% of the child’s income into a trust account, after one case where a family spent all of a child’s earnings before they had reached adulthood.
  • Overall though one expert notes that “we’re protecting animals in movies far better than the children” – after all, movies carry disclaimers stating that no animals were hurt during the production of a film. The same is not said for children.

Read more about how the rise of reality television is transforming the morality of child actors, efforts that are being taken by states to better ensure the safety of children, and some of the harsh realities that child actors have to deal with over here.

Source: Stateline