Let me admit right up front that I don't watch reality shows. I saw about 15 minutes of the final program of that first one, it was called Survivor I think, and about 20 minutes of some other show that was about a bunch of teenagers in an RV, maybe it was called Real World or something like that and I didn't get the point.
I have read a few articles about the format though and from what I gather, these programs are far from real. The action is scripted and the "actors" are routinely abused with long hours on the set and other violations of rules of the actor's guild. It's hardly a secret and they get away with it because the participants are not hired as union actors. In fact that's why the shows can be produced so cheaply and why they've proliferated.
So I find these parents that are now complaining about child abuse after production has closed on the latest entry into the genre, Kid Nation, to be more than a little disingenous.
CBS presumably did not kidnap these kids. They were there with parental permission, sent by parents that clearly wanted the money. What responsible parent would have pulled their 8 to 15 year old child out of school to participate in this fraud in the first place and in the second, one would think if they had concerns about safety they would have the option to pull the child out. Of course they would most probably have to forfeit the cash.
To the parents that are complaining after the fact, in a transparent attempt to squeeze more dough out of CBS -- pardon me, but your greed is showing. The real abuse is signing the kid up in the first place for such a hare-brained scheme. Nonetheless, I expect their children learned more about responsibility and co-operative living from enduring the hardships, than they will by observing the parents trying to change the rules after the game has already been played.
Update: I'm much more used to criticism so it's makes me a little nervous when people say nice things about me, but thanks to Capt. Ed for the props.