Jon Gosselin and Kijafa Vick, wife of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, were some of the reality television stars who participated in a panel for Fox School of Business students on Monday, Jan. 28.
The legal studies department invited students to come to Alter Hall for an afternoon discussion about the legal implications that go into making reality television. Five local reality television personalities came to the event to share their experiences. The panel included Gosselin from the show “Jon & Kate Plus 8”, Dana Herbert, winner of “Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker”, Reid Rosenthal of “The Bachelorette; Bachelor Pad Season 3”, Vick, executive producer of “The Michael Vick Project” and Carmena Ayo-Davies, owner of 3BG Marketing Solutions. The panel discussed what life is like now that they are in the reality television industry.
Gosselin, the father on TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” talked about how hard it has been to transition his life back to the real world. It took him two years to find a job after the series ended.
“I met all the qualifications, but no one wants me because I’m in the public,” Gosselin said. “People only see you for what you did on this and that episode. I was legally divorced six months before anyone saw it on TV.”
Rosenthal went on to explain why the world of reality TV is as brutal as it is for some of its stars.
“You’re trying to win the competition even if she’s not the right girl for you. It’s sick, but we want to make money,” Rosenthal said.
Legal studies professor and entertainment, sports and media attorney Chris Cabott moderated the discussion with 150 students, which reviewed legal issues surrounding casting, show development, intellectual property rights and more. Students then asked the panelists questions about the process of creating and shooting a reality show.
“I came today because I am very interested in legal studies and I’m deciding which route I want to take. This was really helpful in determining which way I want to go,” freshman legal studies and marketing major Ciera Ellison said.
The panel discussion coincides with the legal studies department’s Law Week, which also includes a naturalization ceremony hosted at Temple and a law school fair. Two years ago Cabott did something similar to this, bringing Philadelphia Phillies’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins in to talk to students about the law in music. This year, the department wanted the theme to be reality TV.
“Reality TV is very popular and very rampant. I’m blessed to know a lot of people in the business, so that’s why we were able to get this panel,” Cabott said. “With such a bad weather day, I was impressed with not only how well the panel did, but also how many students came out.”
Alexandra Gallo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.