7 votes



  1. [2]
    (edited )
    This seems to be the typical child entertainer drama, where most of the adults involved generally seem horrible and primarily self-interested. It has some novelty, in that, being about social...
    • Exemplary

    This seems to be the typical child entertainer drama, where most of the adults involved generally seem horrible and primarily self-interested. It has some novelty, in that, being about social media, it appears to have involved people less familiar with California's laws around child entertainers, and businesses largely trying to operate outside of them. The results appear to be a modern retelling of the sorts of historical abuses that led to those laws in the first place.

    The mother seems confused as to why the state is working against her. But in reality, it appears that the state is acting on the basis of a century of experience with child entertainers, and her behaviour, even just considering what she appears to admit to in this article, seems to be exactly that of a financially abusive parent seeking to gain control of their child's assets for their own purposes. She follows the same, tired script that the courts have undoubtedly seen countless times, and has historically played a part in some of the largest financial abuses of child actors. Yes, the law says that her son's assets are his own, not hers, but he verbally agreed to share them with her. Everyone who says they didn't agree to her getting income, and didn't know about the LLC she started, actually did. No, she's not trying to take advantage of her son's finances, she's just trying to protect him, and that protection includes controlling his finances. It's a travesty when the court gives conservatorship over her son's estate to someone he chooses, instead of her, since she only has his interests in mind. Her son, meanwhile, is being manipulated against her by immoral people who don't have his interests in mind. She's a good mother, because she has photographs of her being a good mother, while also fighting a legal battle against her son for control of his income. As an argument for why she should have guardianship over her son, she sends her son's lawyer information about a lawsuit about his work: what she focuses on seems clear. She insists that she was not naive about the exploitation of children in the entertainment business, and took comfort in California's extensive legal protections, but if she is being honest in the article, then she doesn't understand that one of the major reasons for those legal protections is to protect child actors against their parents.

    Even outside of trying to gain access to his assets, her account of her behaviour seem typical of a naive but ambitious stage mother who moves to Hollywood seeking fame and fortune, and in the zeal to monetize her children, loses perspective on her relationship with them, to the extent that she doesn't seem to understand how the article makes her appear.

    She recalls being uncomfortable with a trip to Las Vegas being inappropriate, but it is when there's a callback involved that she tries to have her son leave early. She is shocked that, after years of her marriage being more a business arrangement, her husband treats it like a business arrangement. She is suddenly uncomfortable with the sexualization of her son, and with the actors involved being instructed to kiss each other, years after apparently being comfortable with titles like “24 Hours HANDCUFFED to my ‘BOYFRIEND.’ " and “KISSING My Best Friends BOYFRIEND To See How My CRUSH Reacts.” Her discomfort coincidentally comes around the teenage years when one might expect a child entertainer to start questioning the financial arrangements their parents have made. She felt it would be "healthy" to conspire to push her son and a former coworker into meeting against his wishes (whether influenced or not), then lies to her son about conspiring to do so. The coworker was, of course, someone who had been in either a staged or semi-staged relationship with her son. She doesn't seem to think that publicly recounting this dishonesty will further damage her son's view of her.

    Yes, it would not be the least bit surprising if the other adults involved here are also horrible. Smith is managing the production of content that seems primarily based around the sexualization of young teenagers: the very nature of the group seems abusive, using the advantage social media has in allowing content outside of that which would be acceptable in traditional media, and in blurring lines between the staged and the genuine. It wouldn't be surprising if Jentzen's father, and sister, are primarily considering business interests. But if Jentzen's mother insists that she is different, and is acting out of concern for him, then her self-admitted attempts to advance her own financial interests, to the detriment of her son and against the intent of California law, are enormously damaging to her argument.

    The one thing that no one really seems to care about here—not his mother, perhaps not the article's author, certainly not Smith—is what Jentzen wants. The last two paragraphs, in that regard, are both telling and depressing. Johna wonders what would have to happen to avoid her son breaking off contact with her. Three sentences earlier, she points out that he just recently directly told her the answer: stop trying to make claims against his income and take guardianship over him. But the chance of a six-figure income for her relies on her not considering that, and so she continues to wonder what else she could do, other than what her son wants.

    10 votes
    1. xifoqua
      Link Parent
      What Jentzen wants does not matter to Johna, nor should it. It seems he's been groomed since joining the Squad. If the lawsuit's accusations are true, he's been stuck in an abusive relationship...

      What Jentzen wants does not matter to Johna, nor should it. It seems he's been groomed since joining the Squad. If the lawsuit's accusations are true, he's been stuck in an abusive relationship where's he's been exposed to if not the victim of a host of sexual assaults.

      Jentzen has no identity and no want to be independent... all he wants is to make money and sell his entire life to a sexual abuser. The article very clearly says he has no friends outside of the Squad, or at least influencers. When his mother takes him somewhere to meet up with people outside of the Squad, the first thing he does is call Tiffany, and ask if he's allowed to talk with them. That's extreme helicopter parenting from a sexual abuser. Jenzten is 16 or 17 now, he should be learning to drive and getting out of the house and taking risks and learning what it's like to be on his own - why is he acting like he's 12? He's had none of the social experience of middle school, which, while disdained, is extremely important developmentally as it teaches humans to actually socialize and be an independent person. Jentzen is not that. Even as far as the education side of education, he doesn't have any tutors or anything past basic online school. Every single interaction he has is controlled by someone who clearly does not have his best interests in mind.

      Johna's wrong to go after the money, especially since a verbal agreement made so young is uh, not binding, but what mother would want to stand and watch her son get abused by everyone around him, including his father? What mother wouldn't want guardianship?

      The law is meant to protect both his money and his well-being, and it's clear that he should have the money and get the hell out of the Squad before he's an actual adult and is truly fucked in the head for life. Guardianship is the mother's way of getting her son out, because her daughter's sucked in too.

      4 votes