Toledo native, former child actor, advocates for protections for ‘Kidfluencers’ – WTVG

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) – A Toledo native who starred in multiple Disney movies as a kid is pushing Ohio lawmakers to enact protections for the generation era of child stars.

The Kidfluencer Protection Act would create regulations for children who appear in social media videos that generate money.

Alyson Stoner, who appeared in movies including Cheaper by the Dozen, Camp Rock, and Step Up, voiced their support for the legislation alongside its sponsors, including Rep. Michele Grim (D-Toledo).

“Taking steps to safeguard a portion of child influencers’ earnings and their right to privacy is a crucial step in minimizing the harm that hundreds of thousands of children have experienced across traditional and digital media.”

The proposal would require adults who feature kids in their videos to set aside part of their earnings for the children in a trust fund that they can access once they turn 18. Similar protections are already in place for child actors in Hollywood, but Stoner said lawmakers across the country need to take action make sure kids generating money in online videos aren’t exploited.

“The issue will only continue to blossom,” Stoner said. “It’s worth getting ahead of before we watch a new pipeline of child exploitation take shape right on our phones.”

Stoner said their bank account was empty when they became an adult because the money was mismanaged. Thankfully, the trust fund required for child actors in the TV and film industry was available to them.

Grim said the legislation models a law recently enacted in Illinois. It’s the only state to address the issue so far, Grim said.

A formula would determine how much would be set aside for kids. They would also have the ability to request the removal of any videos that profited off them when they turn 18.

“Kidfluencers often do not see a dime of the earnings they gross,” Grim said. “They are largely at the will of their guardians or other adult vloggers to determine what of their childhood is filmed and posted on the internet for profit. This is a largely unregulated industry where swift action is needed to protect minors.”

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