Poll: Public Concerned About Gosselin Kids
Whatever they think of Jon and Kate, Americans are concerned about the future of the "plus 8" part of the equation.
A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows nearly half (48 percent) think the eight Gosselin children, co-stars of TLC's highly watched and highly controversial "Jon & Kate Plus 8," will be worse off for having taken part in the series. Only 29 percent said the brood would be better off, and 23 percent had no opinion. The poll of 1,016 adults Friday to Sunday includes questions asked of only half the respondents. Maximum margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Americans are closely divided over whether children under 18 should appear on reality TV at all: 41 percent said they should be allowed, and 49 percent said they should be prohibited. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor is investigating a child labor law complaint against "Jon & Kate." (The show is shot at the Gosselins' home in Wernersville, Pa.) And last week, Kate Gosselin's brother and sister-in-law accused Jon and Kate of turning their children into a commodity.
When it comes to doling out the sympathy card for the couple — whose marriage, amid allegations of infidelity, is on shaky ground — there's a clear gender gap: Women — who constitute the show's biggest audience, especially those under age 50, according to the poll — are more inclined. Among those familiar with the family, 47 percent said they felt sympathetic toward Jon Gosselin vs. 39 percent of men. The contrast was far starker when it came to the more historically polarizing partner: Nearly half (49 percent) of women had compassion for Kate Gosselin vs. 33 percent of men.
Among those who've seen the show, 65 percent said they are less interested in watching it now.