America’s Got Talent, But Not Guaranteed Protection

Darci Lynne Farmer, age 12, came in First on America’s Got Talent last week. Angelica Hale came in 2nd. We celebrate their achievements. A 12 year old beat out a 10 year old! These are children, not entertainment professionals. Is there room in the midst of this excitement to ask what Informed Consent actually means? Is this just a local competition or a national television show?
There are monetary rewards. So, is it their prize money or a cash pool for their parents and/or managers? To whom do they owe their success? Is their prize money, by Law, set-aside? The Finals were taped in California. Are California Laws in place, including Court Approval and mandatory work rules?
When I heard Darci talking to a radio talk show host (Doug McIntyre) at six in the morning after her victory I wondered why she wasn’t getting ready for school, and why her mind wasn’t focused on the next adventure of her life. Those questions never came up.
Don’t get me wrong, she deserves her time in the sun…but she’s Twelve years old. She can’t sign contracts or agree to work demands that exceed accepted employment standards. Who is protecting her Rights? Darci Lynne Farmer is twelve years old, unable to provide Informed Consent.
It’s our duty to protect her, and her competitors. Once you get past the Thrill of Victory it’s time to consider reality.
Paul Petersen