New MTV Series 'Skins' Faces Controversy Over Racy Content
When MTV decided to import the racy British series “Skins” across the pond, it did so with the full knowledge that the show could cause a ruckus, and man were they ever right.
According to New York Times reporters, “in recent days, executives at the cable channel became concerned that some scenes from the provocative new show ‘Skins’ may violate federal child pornography statutes.”
Though the series is rated TV-MA, the New York Times reported the show was watched by at least a million kids under the age of 17, with an inevitably even larger online audience. Nielsen put the number even higher - at 1.2 million teens under 18.
MTV executives apparently ordered the producers to make changes to tone down some of the most explicit content in the brutally realistic show, which features plotlines about sex, eating disorders, mental illness, drugs and death.
While the show has been largely stripped of the nudity featured in the British version, according to Pop Eater, the show’s third episode, “follows Chris, played by Jesse Carere, who, after experimenting with erectile dysfunction pills, runs down the street naked, exposing his 17-year-old bum."
The episode apparently caused an uproar with the Parents’ Television Council, which called the show "the most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children."
The controversy already has advertisers running for the hills, with Taco Bell yanking its ad budget with the series.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch, who said, “we advertise on a variety of MTV programs that reach our core demographic of 18 to 34 year olds, which included the premiere episode of ‘Skins.’ Upon further review, we’ve decided that the show is not a fit for our brand and have moved our advertising to other MTV programming."
"Skins" is unique in that most of the actors in the show are teens who have never acted before put in scenes meant to closely resemble real life (only much better looking). While the show certainly veers into adult territory, it's no more risqué than your average episode of "Jersey Shore," and may even be a notch or two up in quality.
Is MTV taking questionable content too far with “Skins” or are they simply portraying the reality of teen life?
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