Charlotte and child stars

Charlotte and child stars

The British press is giving some interesting coverage to the Charlotte Church controversy. Church used to be a sweet, little girl with a nice voice who recorded classical music, much of it with a religious bent, and even sang before Pope John Paul II when she was 12 or so. Now, she’s grown up and has a new TV talk show for which she has done skits blaspheming the Eucharist and calling Pope Benedict a Nazi.

Britain’s Daily Mail summarizes the controversy and reports that Ignatius Press has pulled all her materials from their catalog. They do a surprisingly even-handed job of addressing the legitimate outrage of Catholics. I suspect they don’t think much of her or her new show or her blatant attempts at ginning up publicity.

I guess I’m not exactly surprised about this anyway. Can anyone name any child star that didn’t have a disastrous transition to adulthood? Certainly the bad outnumber the good: Drew Barrymore, Macauley Culkin, Lindsay Lohan, and on and on. The sweeter their on-stage persona as a child, the wilder the counter-reaction, it seems.

We might like to think of Charlotte as being as sweet as the cherub on the cover of her CDs, but let’s face it: That’s the world of make-believe. Why are we surprised that children immersed in the cesspool of the entertainment industry won’t grow up looking and sounding exactly like products of that environment? If you buy a puppy and kick and beat him all day, don’t act surprised when he bites someone.

There is no way I would allow anyone to put any of my children in movies, TV shows, on any type of recording, or in any nationally competitive sport (e.g. Olympics). The cost is just too high.

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  • “Can anyone name any child star that didn’t have a disastrous transition to adulthood?”

    Um, Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.)? But I only know about him b/c my sister went to college with friends of his from Albuquerque, and they said his parents allowed him to act, but also insisted on living back in New Mexico when no filming was going on, going to normal high school, hanging out with his old friends, minimizing publicity, etc. She hung out with him a bit and said he was a “normal” guy, and it was obvious his friends helped to make his life more normal, especially when people would come up to him all the time. He’s never been a huge “superstar” but he’s kept working steadily and has been on stage, and was, I thought, quite good as the Dauphin in the “Joan of Arc” with Leelee Sobieski.

    Then again, maybe he’s an exception that proves the rule – and proves that if your kid is talented and really wants to go for it himself, you as a parent have to exercise a LOT of control over the situation.

  • This is all about how she likes Harry Potter and is too arrogant to imagine that maybe the Holy Father is right and is all upset that he’d even suggest something she can’t fathom.  This is why one must be an intellectual (willing to listen and think and rethink ones own views) to be Catholic.

  • Actually, if one does a Google search on Charlotte and views some of the photos of her that are “out there” in cyberspace (which I do not recommend), one will quickly realize that she is far from wholesome.


  • Yes, Sean Astin (I’m sure it’s no coincidence his mother was a child star with a famously horrible child-star story), and also Henry Thomas, who was in E. T. (his parents also made him stay “at home”, in his case in Texas, and go to “normal school”, etc.).

    Like I said, the parents have to exercise control, whether they’re “normal” people or celebrities themselves, and not get caught up in the glamor or in promoting their child.