Hollywood exploits 16-year-old Claudia Conway

Is there any low where Hollywood won't go?

They're now exploiting 16-year-old Claudia Conway, daughter of Kellyanne Conway and George Conway, for television ratings and big bucks.

According to the Daily Mail:

ABC has been slammed over 16-year-old Claudia Conway's American Idol audition with some critics calling it the 'worst sort of exploitation of a minor' on reality television. 

Claudia, whose parents are former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway and Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway, made it through to Hollywood following her singing debut on American Idol on Sunday night.

Her audition, which was filmed last fall and was heavily promoted by the network in the days leading up to the episode airing, ended up being stretched out over two segments. 

It featured a surprise video message from her mother, as well as snippets of Claudia describing her relationship with Kellyanne as 'iffy' and the teen TikTok star saying she wanted to get away 'from the drama' surrounding her home life.

Conway is a headstrong young teenager who's been conditioned to live out her various adolescent angst in the internet pages of social media.  Many teens do this, but unlike these average kids, her dramas are amplified in the press.

She loves her mom, she hates her mom, she considers her mom a monster — that's the adolescent fare she uploads, and the press eats it up.  She can be quite extreme and impulsive.  In one instance, she accused her mom of posting topless pictures of her on the internet — and backtracked when the cops checked in.  It's kid stuff, something that comes from someone unsure of her identity and role, yet the press reports everything she impulsively posts as Gospel.  That's largely because of who her parents are — one, a valued Trump adviser, and the other, a disappointed office-seeker who went on to become associated with the scandal-plagued anti-Trump Lincoln Project.  Her parents both seem to truly still love her, and her mom at least gave up her prestigious career for her.  Yet to a vulnerable kid who feels otherwise insignificant, the press attention she draws has a heady power.

So, like the troubled kids of Sarah Palin, she heads for the world of reality television, and like Bristol Palin, she's on for the talent shows.  Baby mama Bristol went on Dancing with the Stars.  Now Claudia has gotten onto American Idol

Why is this exploitation, when it seems to make her happy and her parents are offering loving support? 

One, she was very unsure of herself, and her troubled adolescent angst and confusion came out in the show itself.  Here's how the dialogue went according to the Daily Mail:

During the audition, Claudia addressed her relationship with her mother. 

'I'm Claudia Conway. I'm 16. My mother is Kellyanne Conway. She worked for Donald Trump. And my dad is George Conway. He's a lawyer he worked against Donald Trump,' she said. 

'I had to move to DC when I was 12 and I hated it. When your mom is working for the President of the United States who you very much disagree with, it's hard.' 

Perry immediately asked her: 'Are you okay?'

'No,' Claudia replied. 'No but yes.'

Claudia said it was 'hard' growing up with her mother working for Trump and that she believed her 'feelings had been suppressed' before she joined social media and started posting about her own views. 

'Most of my life, my feelings had been suppressed so then I got social media and I was like, 'Well, yeah. Now my voice is being heard,' she said.

Should someone that publicly confused be making her name on American Idol?  Her parents are on opposite sides of the political fence, yes, but reportedly, they never fight about politics at home — George has remarked that he tweets ugly about Trump only to keep those thoughts from being shared in the home.  They are, after all, still married, and all signs show they want to make their daughter happy.  So Claudia's adolescent angst comes off as unreliable in its content, a matter of teenage drama-queening, not hard fact.  She's a kid, after all.  Her feelings fluctuate.

Eventually, Claudia will grow up, but this wobbly appearance will stay with her and mark her for life.  She may not be taken seriously — imagine what happens when she tries to get into college.  Plenty of kids act out adolescent dramas, but since no one's watching, they still get into college as "capable, mature," or whatever their recommenders write.  In Claudia's case, she will grow up, but people will remember only her adolescent fits and ignore the adult she actually becomes.  That will be her reputation, and to do that to a kid, still growing up, is outrageous.

And she'll have to bear that alone.  She's not going to be a star.  She couldn't even figure out basic showmanship, being unable to master the wearing of high heels — a "must" for a would-be pop tart — let along sing.  She would be better off in a high school talent show, like what other kids do.  It's a shark-like competitive world in Hollywood where she's at, and only a few succeed.  At some point, Hollywood will have no use for her.  According to the remarks by the American Idol judges, it's clear she has no talent.  She didn't get on that show for talent, after all; she got on for ratings clicks.  Worse still, she can't slide for that absence on Hollywood looks.  She's ordinary; she's normal.  But they're pretending to her for a while that she's a star and exploiting her emotions to get her to play along.  She's useful now, but as for being a star, she's in for a big letdown.

They'll lose interest in her soon as President Trump and the Lincoln Project scandals are out of the press.  Then she'll have to bear this burden along with her others, unable to sort herself out because the spotlight was never off.

It's sad for the girl and outrageous to see these filthy exploiting sharks doing it.  If she has the talent and looks to succeed on Idol, well, sure, then put her on.  But as we can see, she doesn't.  She's there solely because of who her parents are, yet they are telling her she's breaking out.  She's not there for any accomplishments; she's just exploitation fodder.  To do that to a kid is really appalling.

Image: Screen shot from ABC American Idol video via shareable YouTube.

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