You know whom I am talking about. I’m referring to the 2009 amateur video and YouTube sensation featuring seven-year-old David DeVore, fully out-of-it post dental surgery and mumbling a sickly hilarious series of non-sequitars including, infamously, “Is this real life?”
The DeVore’s have recently surfaced on the blog Business Insider, telling blogger/reporter William Wei they’ve now earned about $150,000 from the 2009 video and subsequent licensing. Their most recent deal: a contract to make medical scrubs for dentists. This follows such money making ventures as a Vizio Super Bowl ad and t-shirt sales.
I appear to be the only person out there less than amused by the trend of parents posting somewhat humiliating videos of their children on YouTube. It’s one thing to send an anonymous picture to S**T My Kids Ruined, but it’s another to publicly embarrass your child. It’s all cute now, but your child isn’t going to find this very funny by the time he or she is in junior high school and subject to the burgeoning Cyberbullying epidemic.
Moreover, there are, in my view, some serious questions about the parents’ monetary motivations. The elder Devore left his job within weeks of David’s Internet debut. Sounds like a devoted dad till you realize he worked in residential real estate. In Florida.
The senior David Devore informed Wei that $7,000 of their take has been donated to their church, their son’s school, and the charity Operation Smile. Where the rest of the money is residing is anyone’s guess. One hope’s it is earning interst in a college account somewhere, but no one is saying that.
Ironically, David fils— in common with children on reality television — would enjoy significantly more legal protection for his money if he were actually a professional child actor. In California, for example, his earnings would be considered his alone, and a portion of the funds would be placed in a blocked trust.
Me, I’m curious to see what Paul Peterson has to say about all this. Peterson’s the former child actor who founded A Minor Consideration, the lobbying organization devoted to the defending and expanding the rights of child entertainers. Paul, are you out there?