The Jobs Automation SHOULD Take

[Content Note: Child abuse and neglect; exploitation; death from addiction.]

This piece about Brad Renfro by Adam B. Vary for BuzzFeed is heartbreaking: "Hollywood Wanted an Edgy Child Actor. When He Spiraled, They Couldn't Help."

Couldn't or wouldn't. Either way: Didn't.

As I was reading the piece, I thought of the many times I've seen child actors doing things in films that made me worry for them; made me wonder who was looking out for them.

And, not for the first time, I thought about how it is now possible, through the magic of advanced CGI, for an adult to play any role in a green suit and be replaced post-production with a conjured digital character and a voiceover.

There is quite literally no need for onscreen child actors anymore. There is no reason to endanger children, or ask them to do work to which they truly cannot fully consent, no matter how much they insist they want to do it. And we have plenty of evidence that child actors who survive the industry to adulthood in one piece are the exception, not the rule.

We don't require child laborers in the film industry anymore. As far as I can see, these are jobs that we should eagerly allow automation to render obsolete.

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