Kate Gosselin’s Supposedly ‘Strict’ Rules For Her Show’s Crew Are Actually Very Reasonable

Kate Gosselin at Pie Face for Celebrity Apprentice season 14 event March 2014 NYC

I’m not typically one to defend Kate Gosselin, but this newest report from Radar Online about her rules for the crew of her reality show is pretty unfair. The title promises that the rules are “strict,” but then all I see are reasonable requests for privacy and respect and safety and cleanliness. I’m pretty sure those are things that anyone would expect if they had a bunch of strangers with cameras hanging out in their house full of eight children.

There’s a new expose by Robert Hoffman titled Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled The World, and in it Hoffman includes the alleged “House Rules” that Kate handed out to crew members during filming of Jon & Kate Plus 8. Radar makes sure to include a quote from Kate in which she said the crew were “like family,” implying that the rules paint a different picture. Except they’re all very reasonable requests. Here are some examples:

“This home address is NEVER to be discussed or written down. Directions to this house are not to be discussed either.”

So not wanting your home address passed around is considered strict now? Why don’t we all go ahead and leave our doors unlocked and post our social security numbers online as well?

“Absolutely no smoking or drinking alcohol on our entire property (or on the road in front of our house).”

Do I even have to explain why this is perfectly reasonable?

“Approved bathroom for crew use is in apartment. This is the ONLY bathroom for crew usage. (Do not use bathrooms in house please)”

So sue me, but I don’t really like having unfamiliar people use my bathroom. I’m even hesitant to have familiar people use my bathroom.

“No shoes in house or apt at any time. Shoe booties (that have NOT been worn outside!) or no shoes. Period.”

I personally don’t demand shoe removal, but if someone else expects it of me, you’re damn right I’m taking my shoes off. It’s someone else’s home, and unless they’re asking me to do something like sign my name in blood before I can have a glass of water, I’m going to respect their rules.

“Completely Close doors!!!! Every time and quickly!! No exceptions.”

I would imagine this one has something to do with the fact that there were eight children running around the house, and Kate wanted to be able to find them and prevent them from wandering somewhere dangerous.

Kate also requested that people not use things without asking first (GOD FORBID), and she supposedly emailed Discovery saying that “anytime the film crew is present Jon and or I need to also be present to let them into the house and to oversee.” I’m sorry, I’m really missing what’s so unreasonable about all this.

I’m very private about my belongings and living space, and when people, especially people I don’t know very well or at all, enter that space, it’s usually a stressful experience for me. Of course, that’s one of the many reasons I am not the star of a reality show. But just because Kate Gosselin chose to have a camera crew come into her home doesn’t mean she can’t expect that crew to respect the way she runs her household.

An anonymous crew member told Hoffman, “She treats us like sh*t. She treats the kids like sh*t.” Maybe she does; I’m not there to see it. But if they’re basing that claim on these rules, that’s pretty unfair.

(Photo: TNYF / WENN.com)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Lily Savage

      I think the millions of exclamation points make her rules seem more drastic and diva-ish than they actually are.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        True, I think society in general should conserve exclamation points.

    • Jenni

      The address one is so ridiculous. I’m not famous and I would be mad if someone shared my address with strangers. There’s so much to dislike about her, but these rules are beyond reasonable.

    • https://twitter.com/perfctlyflawd1 JenH1986

      I’ve never been a “shoes off” person, until I had white carpet. That carpet is destroyed from shoes on it. No matter how often I clean it’s a mess. So now I know what my other carpet was hiding and when I replace the carpet, will have a “no shoes please” rule.

      • Jill O’Rourke


      • Alison Cross

        I’m not a “shoes off” person either, but (aside from your perfectly reasonable point) shoes DO track in small debris that could easily end up in an infants play space and thus mouth. When you’ve got 8 infants/small children, well, I think it’s reasonable to take any precautions you need to!

      • https://twitter.com/perfctlyflawd1 JenH1986

        Yea. No kiddos for me so my brain doesn’t go there, but yea, I’m gonna guess you don’t want kids crawling on gross carpet or putting things in their mouths either! None of these rules seem really over the top. Basically it’s just one big “please respect my house”. Except people are assholes and need an actual list.

      • kittymom

        I live in Canada and is it a general expectation that shoes are taken off in the entry way before entering a house. So that is very reasonable to me.

    • Alyssa

      While those are all reasonable, I’m sure she acts like a psychotic bitch about it. There is an appropriate way and an inappropriate way to go about making your demands. The shoes thing though, come on, you’re getting paid lots to be filmed, hire someone to clean the carpets after filming is done.

      • kakaban

        She shouldnt have to pay around 600 a day to get her carpet cleaned when the crew could wear booties. (most crews do) Also even if she gets it cleaned at the end of the day her children are playing in their home, so do they play in the dirt or do they not get to play bc the carpet is dirty when it could be avoided just by wearing booties?

      • Alyssa

        I don’t think that the crew’s shoes could be so exceptionally dirty that the carpet needs to be cleaned every single day.

    • Andrea

      I guess she can have whatever rules she chooses or the TV deal goes away. However, it seems to me that if you are gonna use your kids as meal tickets by pimping them out on national TV, the ship has long sailed on you maintaining any kind of control.
      I’m guessing that she would fold pretty quickly if the TV people say it’s OUR rules or no TV for you. She does seem to have an insatiable thirst for attention.

      • quinn

        While I agree that she is very hungry for fame, how else is a single mom supposed to raise 8 kids? I don’t know how people that don’t have reality tv careers can manage that many mouths to feed.

      • Andrea

        A point she has made herself. However, I don’t think I can justify her fame whoring.
        I don’t know this for a fact, but I would bet that in the USA there are lots of families with 8 children (not sextuplets, but still) and I don’t believe all of them are on TV.

        ETA: and more to the point. SHE is not holding the cards here. If we know that she doesn’t have many options and that she needs this, I am pretty sure the TV people know as well. If they wanted to call her bluff, they could.

      • jen27

        I never got the “how else is a single mom supposed to raise 8 kids” argument. For one thing she wasn’t (still isn’t) a “single mom” when this whole reality show thing started. And coming from an Irish-Catholic background I can tell you I know my fair share of large families–some of them with *actual* single moms or dads at the helm–who manage to both provide for their children AND not be on a reality television show.

        All that being said I disagree with Andrea’s point that because she has agreed to be on a reality show she has lost all control. That’s the whole point of contracts. You make stipulations about the things you want and need and put it in writing with both parties signatures so that everyone understands the rules. That seems to be pretty standard for anyone participating in a reality show.

      • Andrea

        Somehow I don’t think that’s true. I would bet the contract for most reality TV participants HIGHLY favors the network and not the participant. I could be wrong in some instances (Kardashians maybe?).

        My point is that she herself has admitted that the only way she can support 8 children is by being on TV. That tells me that she NEEDS it (or at least she thinks she does) and that the network could easily call her bluff pack up and leave and she’d be begging them to come back under whatever terms they want.

    • swimmercait

      I work in the entertainment industry and these kinds of rules for filming in people’s homes/workplaces are not uncommon. And we’ve encountered even more restrictive and complicated rules than those mentioned in the article. It can make shooting difficult, but it’s all just part of the process and comes with the territory.

    • AlexMMR

      I gotta agree, I’m not seeing anything unreasonable here. A homeowner must be present if a stranger is going to be in the home? The hell you say!

      We are also very strict about the main door to our house. We have kind of an airlock system where there’s a door to the outside that opens to a small laundry room, and then a door from that room to the kitchen where you enter the house. Those two doors can never be open at the same time, you MUST close one before opening the other. Otherwise, YOU get to go running around the neighborhood to chase the itty bitty black little kitty that sits by those doors waiting for her chance to bolt.

      And the address thing? Are you kidding me? Someone thinks that’s unreasonable??? Has there ever been someone in the public eye that didn’t want their address kept secret? Even those without children??? Frack. Just being someone who has an internet presence by commenting on message boards I don’t want my address out there in the world.

    • C

      Someone has to help me out here- is it uncommon to take your shoes off when entering someone’s home in the US? A couple of times now it’s seemed to me that’s just a Canadian thing, but it’s not? Or it is? Like, to us, that is what you do immediately. No questions asked- you take your shoes off when you enter someones house, and usually your own, too. Yet I see, for example, on US T.V. shows, that the characters are always walking around, even in their own house where they can/should be comfortable, with shoes on. It’s weird to me. I haven’t visited the US often, but the few times I have, I’ve been made to feel like I should keep them on- so I did. I even here in some places (maybe US? I don’t know) that it’s considered RUDE to take your shoes off. It’s so strange to me. You’d think you’d want to be comfortable in your own home, and you’d think you wouldn’t want your guests dirty, outdoor shoes coming in your house : .

      • talaricg

        As a US resident, most people that I know don’t take shoes off inside the house- theirs or other people’s… however, I do know a few people who ask that you remove your shoes before you come into their houses. I don’t mind, and as far as I know, other people don’t mind either. I don’t think it’s a weird request, but it’s definitely not “standard” in my personal experience.

      • CrazyFor Kate

        Could be more of a Northern thing – generally, I’ve learned that in Scandinavia and Russia the shoes go off. You know, since we have all the snow and such. The people I’ve usually met who leave their shoes on are from the Southern US, though actual Southerners might like to chime in here.

      • readinyoarticles

        I always thought keeping shoes on in a house was a Northern thing! I’m Southern and I can’t stand wearing shoes in the house and most people I know can’t either, but we do it more out of comfort rather than protocol. Houses are where you can be comfortable

      • chill

        I grew up in the DC area, and have lived in the Atlanta area for the adult (post-college) part of my life. I don’t recall anyone in the DC area taking off their shoes in someone else’s house, yet in Atlanta, everyone does it. Kids automatically kick off their shoes as soon as they walk in our door…
        I must say that I like it.

      • K2

        Might also depend on family.. My friends live in Texas but are not American, and we take our shoes off in the house. My family is French living in England and we take our shoes off.

    • ILoveJellybeans

      I don’t like Kate, but I understand why she has these rules. I would be more suspicious of a reality TV parent who did not have strict rules for the film crew.
      Why is this in italics???? I am using my laptop in the dark cause the kids are watching a movie and wanted the lights off, and I think I pressed something.

    • FactsNoSpin

      They wouldn’t be unreasonable except for the fact hat Kate has said over and over and over again that the crew was like family. Even referred to some as the kids “Dads”. She claims to have had them over after the show ended, which I think is BS, but the real question is do you make friends, family and your children’s father only use the bathroom in the apartment, etc.?
      You put this part of the story together with other parts of the book and it all makes sense. Alone it’s not so bad and even reasonable, but this is Kate were talking about so in that case there’s always another motive or reason. She thrives on making things difficult for other people.
      Should have included the part where Kate demanded a crew without opinions. Guess she didn’t like even more people questioning her mothering. No wonder the crew requested to be placed on another show or just quit.