Pop Culture

Is K-Fed angling for weight-loss reality show?

Sure, Kevin Federline has had his hands full, doing the lion’s share of child rearing for his sons Preston and Jayden James (not to mention caring for his kids with ex Shar Jackson, Kori and Kaleb).

So, he might be too busy to work out. But his seemingly sudden weight gain created a huge stir when he arrived at the X-Games Celebrity Skins Classic looking much heavier than he’s ever appeared.

The talk surrounding Federline’s extra pounds doesn’t involve so much how they got there, but how he might profit from taking them off — at least in media circles where there’s buzz of a weight-loss themed reality show deal for Federline.

He didn’t respond to requests for comment on the matter, but one friend of his says it would be wrong to expect Federline to admit something is in the works before the ink on a deal is dry. “He’s not hurting for money, but he’d like to make this work. He’s not going to kill anything that might be coming together by talking about it in too much detail before he’s really sure it’s going to happen.”

Nadya Suleman’s reality deal — money’s not the problem Whether Nadya Suleman’s 14 children are being financially protected in their new reality show deal should not be the focus of current debate about the family. The primary reason: The kids are being financially protected. Compliance with the Coogan Law, which requires that 15 percent of a minor’s gross income be put in a trust until the minor is 18 or legally emancipated, is already underway.

Instead, what should be the focus is that laws put in place to protect kids in show business are aimed at protecting actors, not reality show participants.

For example, the Coogan Law was created 1939 and underwent a big revamp in 2000 — reality shows barely existed then. “Survivor” was in its very first season. In 2004, more tweaks were made, but even then, the large-scale participation of kids in unscripted programming was not widespread.

Yes, it’s essential that the kids who become a source of income for their families — and the networks that run the shows — are financially protected. But 15 percent of a gross income plus interest is of no use if your life is ruined by the time you’re old enough to access it.

The solution is a tricky one, but it’s high time that there are some real checks put in place to make sure that kids’ images and lifestyle aren’t exploited. Even if they know the cameras are rolling, they don’t know enough to be aware of just how much of their life is being put out there in public. And as plenty of reality show parents before Suleman have proven, not even the adults in charge know when to say “cut.”

Read this, watch that I was among the lucky members of the press to get an advance copy of the season three premiere of “Mad Men.” Since you can’t watch that until Aug. 16, I recommend you catch up on the second season, which is out on DVD now. You’ll be in good company if you do: It’s first-week sales topped $3 million.

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And if the story about the illegal organ ring in New Jersey caught your eye, check out this week’s New Yorker for a piece about people who donate their kidneys — to strangers — just because they think it would be a nice thing to do. Larissa MacFarquhar offers up their stories in a manner almost clinical, but that’s what allows you to really access the thought processes that go into the donors’ very unusual, but charitable choices. (A partial version of the article is here, full version for New Yorker subscribers.)

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.

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