The Times podcast: Do social-media child stars ‘work’?

A magenta house.
The exterior of Tiffany and Piper Rockelle’s house in Los Angeles.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Teenager Piper Rockelle and her friends created a multimillion-dollar YouTube empire. A lawsuit threatens it, and brings up questions about whether what young influencers do for a living constitutes “work.”

Today, we examine the history of child labor laws in California, and what might happen in this digital age. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times senior entertainment reporter Amy Kaufman, and L.A. Times arts and culture writer Jessica Gelt

More reading:

Inside the blockbuster lawsuit threatening one teen YouTube star’s multimillion-dollar empire

Column: Social media platforms must stop the exploitation of child performers. Now

Who’s protecting social media’s child stars? Inside the lawsuit against one YouTuber’s empire

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants are Roberto Reyes and Nicolas Perez. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our fellow is Helen Li. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.