Is the next “Honey Boo Boo” living in your house?
Over the years, there have been many child stars, and while there are federal and state labor laws protecting minors in the workplace, these laws do not apply to the world of entertainment. Most parents only want the best for their children, but there are those who are more interested in the financial rewards brought in by the child actor. In California, the Childs Actor’s Bill was put into place for the financial protections of minors. Known as the “Coogan Act”, it was named after the child actor, "Jackie Coogan"whose mother and stepfather squandered the money he earned working with Charlie Chaplin. Over the years this law has been updated many times and remains the strongest protection for young actors.
In Massachusetts there are also safeguards in place to protect child entertainers. Chapter 231, section 85P1/2 of the General Laws spells out the dos and don’ts necessary, and requires that contracts be approved by the Probate Court.
In the end, finding a specialty lawyer to help navigate the entertainment waters will always be in the best interest of the child.