Friday, April 10, 2009

My Children and TLC's "Table for 12" TV Show Collide at the MOST



What’s that saying about the best laid plans? We had a really nice day planned today. We were meeting about 5 other homeschooling families at the MOST for a morning of fun. We’d be leaving at noon so it would be a nice two hour block of time with friends. We were looking for something that would soothe our somewhat frazzled emotions with Dad out of town.

Well, saying it didn’t go as planned is really an understatement. After we paid for our admission (without anyone mentioning anything about a tv show) and started walking down the hall, we were greeted by a super cheery TLC producer who informed us that the TLC show “Table for 12” (described as a John and Kate Plus 8 spinoff) would be filming their season finally here and that we may end up on film and pointed in the direction of the little sign that if you enter you agree to be potentially on the show. Cool I thought-might be fun to see. Nope-not really.

So obviously there’s twelve in this family-fine, cool, good. But that wasn’t really the problem. It was the apparent 20 or so TLC camera men, audio people and producers that really mucked up the day. I do understand that you are filming a TV show, I do get that; however the little kids that are getting stepped on and pushed aside who actually paid to attend the museum don’t get that. About halfway through this I started getting a bit annoyed. We kept kind of moving to get away from the throng of camera people as Meg was getting increasingly scared of all the lights and the boom mikes and so on. We were in the cave section and doing some excavating when the entire production moved in and nearly swallowed my kids whole. The TLC people were so concerned with getting their shots that Meg got stepped on twice by camera men (who didn’t even budge I guess for fear of a shaky shot or something). My son got trapped in the excavation pit becuase the camera men all stood ontop of the stone miniwalls that surround the pit preventing him from exiting. He even said excuse me several times and nothing. I eventually had to lean in and pick him up and out over the camera man who didn't want to move since he was filming. Filming:fine--Blocking exit from scared kids not on the show: not fine. Then there were the two women who while following the clan stopped to have a conversation in between Michael and Meagan and the exhibit they were looking at (the kids were like three feet away so they could see it and they stood right in front of them). People stood in front of my kids while they were working on something , they stepped on my kids while filming and walking, and they bumped into and off of us like bumper cars.

But even more disturbing was the apparent attitude of the production crew that this was their day at the museum and all the other people (us) were in their way. I don’t blame the kids of the show because they are kids and they were being shown that this was their gig and there’s no reason not to step in front of another child who is doing something and take over because the cameras follow them as they do so and help further nudge any *non show* people right out of the exhibit. (Unless it made a good shot then the non-show people could stay). In the pics below Michael and Meg are excavating and then --WHAM!! tv show swoops in
So we left early. Meagan in tears frightened of the scary camera and light people and Michael frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t seem to escape the mayhem and enjoy the museum.
My message to the MOST and any other establishment taking part in reality television filming: Please… let the paying patrons know of the disruption before they pay so they can make an educated decision **or** allow a free or discounted fee for those patrons who may have their visit impacted by a television show filming.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

you should have asked for a refund or raincheck and let them know how it did upset the children and as paying customers who keep the MOST in operation the lack of consideration to you but mostly how it upset and frightened the kids.

Cage Free Monkeys on April 10, 2009 at 3:24 PM said...

Im' SURE TLC paid a nice little *donation* to the MOST for any inconvinience

barsetka on April 10, 2009 at 3:43 PM said...

=)))

Lindsey said...

Thats insane. I would have had some *KIND* word s for the fellas who stepped on my child's foot. They need to know they are not in the right. Have a little decency(sp?). Sorry I am glad you kept your cool, I however could not have.
Linz

danmarie72 on April 11, 2009 at 4:03 PM said...

That is ridiculous. You definitly should have gotten your money back. And for them to be so rude!!!!! These are kids. To just step on and in front of them! TLC owes you your own show! Homeschooled kids or something :)

||| laura frantz ||| on April 11, 2009 at 8:44 PM said...

You know, even a sympathetic smile would have gone a long way, or a mouthed "I'm sorry", something.

Cage Free Monkeys on April 12, 2009 at 7:30 AM said...

Laura-exactly. Just a nod in the direction of "sorry" would have been greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised at the way TLC handled the other paying participants of the museum. I cant believe that they actually stepped on and crowded other kids to the point of intimidation! The musuem definitely is just as responsible....they maybe could have blocked off an area of the museum just for the show, or at the very least warned you a head of time.

vstears on April 13, 2009 at 9:08 AM said...

If TLC needed to get their shots of the family they should have made a donation and had the MOST closed for them! That is not right that your children where stepped on. NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! I also feel that at some point the MOST should have stepped in to protect the other paying customers. Shame on TLC and the MOST!

Mary on April 13, 2009 at 9:55 AM said...

If they didn't want non-filmed folks in the way, they should have rented the museum and kept it to themselves. Shame on them. There is nothing "real" or "right" about the way they treated your family.

Cage Free Monkeys on April 13, 2009 at 11:01 AM said...

Update: The MOST called to day to apologize and offered us a free admission pass for all three of us for next time.

Cage Free Monkeys on April 13, 2009 at 12:57 PM said...

I can see from my sitemeter that people from TLC and Discovery have found my blog and been looking at it since Friday. It will be interesting to see if they actually acknowledge what happened rather than just reading about it and forwarding it.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, if TLC is reading this, let me just say HOW DARE YOU? You're supposedly a network geared towards families and children, and this is the way you treat actual children in real life? Scaring them, stomping on them, trapping them behind large pieces of heavy equipment? Thank God nothing happened to these children or you would have an incredble lawsuit and a complete PR disaster on your hands!

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