On Wednesday, the Obama administration released a video of veteran actress Betty White talking about her first job in the television and film industry. The administration used the clip to promote Obama’s summer jobs initiative for American youth.
In the video, White describes her first job as “a guest shot on a talk show on television.” According to White, the job exposed her to a favorable line of work and recently said at ninety years old, she is, “still in that business and loving it.”
The clip ends with the words, “That was Betty White’s first job. Now, go find yours.” Instead of directing youth toward attainable summer jobs, the video highlights an individual who started her rare career on television. Why lifeguard or intern, when you could be cast on The Jersey Shore?
The clip also gives students a false sense of the ease of finding a career. Most individuals do not find their calling at their first summer job, and most individuals cannot, like Betty White, land a guest shot on a TV show and thereafter maintain a lifelong career in the entertainment business.
Unless Hollywood has a sudden need for summer interns, the Obama administration should spotlight professionals in more accessible industries.