The public perception of Jon and Kate Gosslin, stars of TLC’s hit television series Jon and Kate Plus 8, varies across the blogosphere, in turn putting PR professionals to work. Aspiring to work in the pubic relations field, I am going to treat the Jon and Kate Plus 8 image as a client, evaluate their situation and attempt to clarify a statement recently made.
Individuals or groups have decided this highly publicized relationship is right, wrong, selfish, unselfish, etc. Most recently, debates have focused on alleged marital discord between Jon and Kate. On the season four finale, rumors seemed to be turning into truth when Kate stated, “We are in an odd place right now.”
Immediately following the episode, the Internet was abuzz with interpretations of what the comment meant exactly. The overriding opinion was that Jon finally had enough of Kate’s act and he was ready to leave his over-controlling wife. People cited Jon’s skiing trip, decreased joint airtime for the couple and allegations of Jon’s misbehavior at a Pennsylvania college bar as justification for their feelings. Supporters on Kate’s end made it clear that Jon was entirely wrong for leaving his wife behind to take care of eight kids and two dogs by herself.
It is human nature to pick sides in any argument. Often, one will support the side that he or she can most relate to. Thus, it is perfectly acceptable to have a strong opinion that champions one character while villifying the other. However, before YOU decide who you are rooting for, understand the reality hidden by this alternate reality.
Unless you have first hand experience with Jon and Kate and have fully witnessed how the married couple’s life unfolds day-to-day, it is unfair to accuse one side or the other of being the cause of any alleged discontent. Sometimes, the old adage, “seeing is believing” does not ring true. The world of reality television is far from reality. All reality shows have a montage of clever directors and producers who are perfectly capable of manipulating any situation, facial expression or quote. Because of this, a viewer is coaxed in to believing a director’s intended message in each scene.
We came to find out following the couple’s final on-air interview at the end of Jon and Kate plus 8, season 4, that the couple’s aforementioned odd place was not concerning their marriage but rather whether or not to come back for a fifth season. Jon Gosslin is not convinced that the show should go on, citing a lack of identity beyond the show. “I am no longer just Jon. I have to be Jon and Kate plus 8,” said a seemingly frustrated Jon during the on-air interview. Conversely, Kate is very content with the show and what it has provided for her children. Season 4 concluded very open-ended and, by design (mind you), entices the viewer to come back for the fifth season.
The two have and will continue to discuss the pros and cons of living life in the public eye. As for any marital unrest the couple is experiencing, the couple swears that they are going to fight through the “odd place” and do what is best for them and the family’s well-being. That being said, before you tune in for season 5, have a sense of impartiality and focus on the true meaning of the show—the difficulties associated with raising not one, not two, not three but EIGHT children.
– Carly Jayne Rullman