In the past few years there has been a rise in online influencers who gain money and fame from their online content, and in many cases these influencers are children. Although this can be seen as a “job,” federal child labor laws exempt all child performers from protections. This means traditional child actors and children who create online content must rely on state laws regarding child labor. While some states have protections for child performers, several states have no such laws in place. In addition, the current protections are not available to children who take part in online content. Without such protection, children could be exploited by the adults around them for monetary gain and face the psychological harms that can result from fame and prolonged access to social media. While parents have a right to raise their children, when they are effectively acting as their child’s employer there should be safeguards put in place to ensure the safety of the child. This Note examines the laws currently in place for child performers and the harms that can befall children in the entertainment industry. As a solution, this Note proposes a model of new federal legislation that could be enacted to protect all children in the entertainment industry, balancing the rights of parents with the state interest in the wellbeing of the children involved.



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