White House denies hiring child actors for Kamala Harris YouTube special

False reports from conservative media claim the youngsters used in a YouTube video for World Space Week featuring Harris were actors.

The White House is responding to false reports from conservative media that the children used in an original YouTube video featuring Vice President Kamala Harris were actors. 

According to CNN, White House officials have clarified that they didn’t choose the children for the special, titled Get Curious with Vice President Harris. YouTube provided a statement to the news outlet, saying, “The casting process for this show was no different from typical unscripted kids shows across other networks and streaming platforms.”

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks to the National Congress of American Indians’ 78th annual convention in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“YouTube selected the kids that were featured,” the statement read. “We reached out via not-for-profit organizations, social media, and traditional casting websites, looking for kids who were interested in contributing positively to their communities.”

The spokesperson for the popular video site said it is proud of the production, and “we look forward to the attention shifting back to encouraging families to get excited about space exploration.”

The nine-and-a-half-minute YouTube video features NASA astronauts speaking to young Americans about space exploration for World Space Week, which was Monday, Oct. 4, through Sunday, Oct. 10. In the clip, kids do experiments and learn about the history of space exploration. 

One of the youngsters featured in the video was interviewed by a news outlet in his hometown of Monterey, Calif. Self-proclaimed “space enthusiast” Trevor Bernardino, 13, told KSBW he was asked to send in a monologue of him discussing something he is passionate about, as well as three questions that he would ask a world leader. 

“Then after that, like, a week later, my agent called me, and was like, ‘Hey, Trevor, you booked it,'” Bernardino said. He added he did not know in advance who he was going to meet in Washington, D.C.

The youngsters met with the head of the space council, who in none other than the vice president. 

Midway through the video, Harris sits down with a small group of young people. Dressed in a pale blue suit, she offers words of encouragement to the kids, saying, at one point: “Never let anybody tell you who you should be. You tell them who you are.”

Harris and the children then head to the Naval Observatory, which is one of the oldest scientific agencies in America. Its primary mission is to produce positioning, navigation and timing reports and responses for the United States Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense.

A building on the campus of the Naval Observatory is also the official residence of the vice president of the United States. 

As the kids explore the observatory, Harris shows them a telescope, and tells them, “I just love the idea of exploring the unknown. To think about so much that’s out there we still have to learn, like, I love that.”

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