Friends and family of Jon and Kate Gosselin are slamming the couple for revealing their split on their reality show Monday.
"We're just so heartbroken and sad about the announcement that they made -- an announcement that could be so life-shattering to a young child," Kate's brother, Kevin Kreider, tells RadarOnline.com. "And it was used as a teaser, used to gain ratings, without any regards for my nieces and nephews. It was really hurtful. We were really sad to see that."
Adds their onetime neighbor, Denis: "I do feel bad for the children. Hopefully they will be civil and everything for the kids sake. He needs to get away from her and run as fast as he can. The kids are the ones who will suffer, and that is the sad part."
Jon's former Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School classmate Dominick Fabrizio tells Usmagazine.com: "Jon thinks 'it is a shame what the world has come to' with the paparazzi surrounding his $1.1-million home that he would not even have without that very public attention. Now that the charade is over, maybe the remaining 30 percent of the viewers still watching will realize no one should be taking life advice from Jon or Kate. I won't be lining up for an autographed book anytime soon."
Critics echo similar sentiments.
Maggie, from the Gosselins Without Pity Web site, tells Us: "I cannot see how announcing your divorce on national television and continuing with the show is in any way putting your children first. I feel sorry for the family, but the parents seem very immature and selfish and far more concerned about their own personal needs than what eight little confused children require emotionally. I can't believe TLC will keep running the show, but they will!"
Adds the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik: "I wonder if [viewers] feel exploited by TLC selling ads and making millions of dollars out of a show announcing a divorce that will not only leave eight kids with a shattered family -- but a video record of their family coming undone that will define them for the rest of their lives. I'm done with this sick carnival side show."
The Los Angeles Times' Jon Caramanica sarcastically wonders if the show will be renamed Jon Plus 8 when he's in charge, and Kate Plus 8 when she has custody.
The show will never be the same, he goes on.
"Now that the Gosselins have formally initiated divorce proceedings, never again will the show's title trigger a sense of optimism and possibility, only a burden that was probably impossible all along," Caramanica writes.
Tell Us: What did you think of Jon and Kate announcing their split on TV?