There's a real life family feud brewing. But this one isn't over cash and prizes; it's over the mental health of eight innocent children.
On this morning's CBS Early Show, the brother and sister-in-law of Kate Gosselin said Jon & Kate Plus 8 has devolved from its original intent of simply documenting the kids' lives.
"We thought it was very innocent at the time," said Kate's sister-in-law, Jodi. "It quickly turned into more and more demands from Jon and Kate from the network. It turned into 40 episodes in a six-month span."
Jon, Kate, their kids and their extended family of cameramen celebrated the sextuplets' fifth birthday as one, giant, awkward group on this week's season premiere.
Moreover, Jodi and her husband Kevin say there are sometimes cameras in the children's bedrooms and the tykes are "being exploited... it's time for America to see the situation for what it really is."
Based on the ridiculous ratings for Monday night's season premiere, America is definitely tuning in at least.
"Unfortunately, there are no laws protecting children in reality TV shows," Jodi said. "These children are very aware of the cameras in their homes. The home is their workplace. This is not a healthy environment for kids to be raised in."
Have Jodi and Kevin raised these concerns with Jon and Kate? Yes. In response, the couple said: "'This is what we chose. This is how we're going to provide for them.'"
And provide they have, at least in the material sense:
Jon and Kate earn up to $75,000 per episode, in addition to a slew of free items on a constant basis.
But are these freebies worth the pain the show is causing the kids? Jodi says the children have complained to her about the crew.
"They don't want the cameras around. They have told me personally," said Jodi. "They would say, 'Aunt Jodi, I don't like the cameras on every vacation with us.' Kids have bad moments, and they cry. Having a camera zoom in on a crying child... this should not be a form of entertainment."
Are you listening, Jon and Kate? Or are you too busy counting your money?