I agree with Mark Day's view on the career of Bindi Irwin:
The Irwin story is a tragedy. And I fear it is not yet over, because it appears that Irwin's eight-year-old daughter Bindi is being groomed to take his place as a worldwide wildlife warrior.
She's an apealing little thing; a latter day Shirley Temple bubbling with a desire to do good. But she's a little kid, and should be allowed to do the things that little kids do, and grow up without the pressures of being pulled this way or that by ambitious family members or managers, or promotional hucksters with their eyes on bank balances rather than the child's well-being. Sure, Bindi says she's only doing what she wants to do, but (a) what kids want is not always right for them and (b) how would she know?
There. Someone has said it out loud. Good.
We can be charmed by the precocious talents of Bindi Irwin, but most of us realise that we may well be watching a slow motion train wreck, years in the making.
There's all sorts of good reasons for Bindi Irwin to be doing what she's doing, none of them being what's probably best for her. So none of those reasons are really good enough.
I realise that her child's labour was being used long before the death of her father. That doesn't mean it has to continue now. It's just come into starker focus.
Her childhood is being stolen.
As some asides, here is the list of the United States' Department of Labour's state-by-state analysis of Child Entertainment Provisions.
Here is an incomplete list of former child actors.
Here is an incomplete list of present child actors.
The Child Labour Problem in Australia: Patrick Parkinson, Professor of Law at the University of Sydney sees worrying gaps in local standards (Think child labour is illegal in New South Wales?? Well, think again.)