MTV's new show "Skins" has advertiser pulling their ads

[deleted account] ( 33 moms have responded )

http://www.circleofmoms.com/track_link.p...

MTV's Racy New Series "Skins" Raises Legal Concerns
By Tara Ariano, The Set | Thursday, January 20, 2011, 10:24 AM

Why can't there be a show about teenagers doing homework?!
MTV"Skins," MTV's controversial new show about a group of very misbehaved teenagers has aired just one episode, and already it is facing severe criticism, advertising snafus and even possible legal action.

After a damning story about the show ran on the front page of Thursday's New York Times, Taco Bell announced that it would be pulling all of its ads from future airings of "Skins." A spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter the show is "not a fit for our brand," and that they would be moving their ads elsewhere on MTV.

"Skins" (based on the racy BBC series of the same name) is raising red flags within the company due to its potentially objectionable content. According to a story on the front page of today's New York Times, executives at the network have expressed concerns that content in forthcoming episodes could expose the company to charges of child pornography.

Brian Stelter reports that, according to an unnamed source at MTV, executives have ordered cuts to the episode slated to air January 31, which apparently revolves around teenaged Chris gravely (and comedically) inconvenienced by the effects of an erectile-dysfunction drug; the actor playing Chris, Jesse Carere, is 17.

The conservative Parents Television Council, which previously said "Skins" may very well be "the most dangerous show for children that we have ever seen," reacted to the premiere by announcing that, by their count, "42 depictions and references to drugs and alcohol" were shown in Monday's episode alone. The PTC is also pursuing the matter with the federal government, having sent letters complaining about the show to Attorney General Eric Holder, the FCC and the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

In response to concerns about the show's depiction of teen sexuality and drug use, MTV stated in earlier news releases that "Skins" is "specifically designed to be viewed by adults," also citing the show's late time slot (10 PM Eastern) as a factor that would keep younger viewers away. But as Stelter notes, Nielsen ratings show that 1.2 million of the 3.3 million viewers who watched Monday's premiere of the episode were under the age of 18. Also, the full episode is available online for free at MTV.com: Though a pre-roll screen displays the show's TV-MA rating, there is no age-gate to limit access by any potential viewer.

Generally speaking, actors playing teenaged characters tend not to be minors, though on most shows that's due to the restrictions placed on the hours underaged actors can work, and not the dicey situations they might be asked to portray. However, MTV's "Skins" has made it a point to cast actors close to their characters' ages: The show's stars range in age from 15 to 19.

"Skins" is just the latest teen-targeted entertainment to be challenged over whether its content is appropriate for its audience. Last fall, several members of the cast of "Glee" were criticized for their participation in a provocative photo shot for "GQ" magazine, even though the actors, unlike their characters, have reached the age of majority.

Whether or not the actors themselves are of age seems beside the point to critics of TV shows that use risqué imagery in depicting the lives of underage characters. Take "Gossip Girl," which follows a similarly unseemly group of high-schoolers (who are portrayed mostly by actors of legal voting age) as they traipse through some decidedly mature scenarios. A 2009 episode that involved three of the characters engaging in an intimate act led to similar complaints from the PTC. The organization called the show "reckless and irresponsible" and urged CW affiliate stations to pull the episode from their broadcast.

And just last night, Steven Tyler made his début as a judge on "American Idol," and immediately drew criticism for what some viewers interpreted as his "hitting on" young female contestants.

The "Skins" premiere attracted a lot of viewers but very little critical praise. If, as MTV claims, the show is meant for adults, few of them are likely to check out the show if they read the reviews by Richard Lawson of Gawker.com or Gabe Delahaye of Videogum.com. In his review titled "MTV's Adaptation of 'Skins' is Terrible," Delahaye says "the only real problems with the show are that the acting is bad, the shock-value is boring, and not a single moment seems even remotely true to actual life." Lawson, for his part, says "Skins" presents the thesis that "kids really are as adults supposedly see them -messy jumbles of extremes with very little shading in between, lacking in kindness, decorum, and any sense of responsibility or consequence. It's a pretty bleak and unfair characterization."

Another critic, James Poniewozik of Time.com, wonders how MTV couldn't have seen all of this coming. "If MTV's executives are suddenly concerned about the legal liability," he writes, "how could it not have occurred to them earlier in the process—especially since the use of teen actors has been one of the show's best-publicized aspects, and since the show was very directly adapted from a British show that already exists for comparison?"

Is this whole flap just a publicity stunt? Hard to say. But over the years, MTV has gotten press for banning racy videos (like Madonna's "Justify My Love"), creating reality shows with built-in controversy (like "16 and Pregnant"), and turning live TV mishaps into indelible cultural moments (as Taylor and Kanye could both attest). If any network could make an even-more-scandalous adaptation of an already-scandalous series, it's MTV.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

Heather, I don't think it is a realistic view on how MOST teens are acting--in fact, I know it is not how the majority of teens act; it is a portrayal of the extreme. You kind of prove my point here by stating that you think that is what teens are doing. Teens are going to see this idiotic show and think that behavior is the norm, and they are going to go out and act the same way, and think "it's okay because everyone is doing it."



Do we really want a show that encourages kids to drink and drive, steal cars, do drugs, have careless sex with whoever happens to be around when the mood strikes? I don't. Kids who do that stuff end up in prison, addicted to drugs and on welfare for life--They are a burden on society.



No one is concerned about the "taboo" of sex. Sex is not considered taboo. Even irresponsible sex is not "taboo" it is just stupid and we don't need stupid tv shows encouraging teens to do stupid stuff.

[deleted account]

So I pulled it up on my OnDemand. There's one girl who's constantly smoking weed. Another group passing around a giant bottle of Smirnoff, some already high looking chick who's popping blue pills. Oh look, she just overdosed. Nevermind I guess she just passed out and now she's peeing in the woods. They stole a car to drive her to the hospital BTW and they just crashed it into a lake or something and that was really funny to them. The whole show is a stuid and random as my thoughts above lol. It's a waste of money for MTV to make and it's definitely sending a horrible message to teens.

Dana - posted on 01/23/2011

11,264

35

489

I don't know...I actually think that in the States the majority of teens are influenced by the media and especially networks like MTV. It's rather sad.

[deleted account]

I agree, Kelly. And I don't think the show is realistic at all. In the first episode, the kids never get busted (even though they're smoking pot in the school bathroom). Kids at my school that tried to smoke cigarettes anywhere near school property always got caught. They wreck a vehicle that they stole and I'm doubting the rest of the show is about them going to jail or doing community service. That's not real life. Teens that do things like that *all the time* are going to get caught and have to pay for their actions. A girl a few years younger than me was driving drunk, wrecked her car in a creek and killed her two friends who were with her. She didn't just crawl out and laugh it off. She was caught and punished. This show makes illegal things seem fun and like there are no consequences.

[deleted account]

My problem with the show is that it normalizes this type of behavior and teens start to think that is how they are supposed to act.

Unfortunately, the "if you don't like it, don't watch" approach does not work in this situation because teens who act like that become a burden on the rest of society. And, though I hate to say this, but most teen-aged kids are stupid enough to think that if kids on TV are acting like that, they should be too. Almost every teen mother I talk to tells me that sex was not a big deal to them--every body was doing it. Drugs? Everybody smokes a little, it's normal.....I'm sorry--stupid. We do not need TV shows aimed at teens further normalizing these detrimental and dangerous behaviors.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

33 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

Yep, not only are we (as a society) obsessed with our own celebrities, we're also obsessed with celebs of other countries. I can't go through the checkout without seeing *something* about Will and Kate getting married. I get that that may be big news on a political front, but these magazines are talking about what crown Kate will wear, etc. It is quite silly and maybe it's that obsession that makes our teens more likely to be influenced by a show like this and why many adults in our country would rather the show not be on.

[deleted account]

I do, Laureen. In fact, I started thinking along those same lines as I was writing--that your culture may not be so heavily influenced as mine and thus the show would not have the same impact there as it does here.

I hate how obsessed this country is with celebrities. Unfortunately, I seem to be in a very small minority :( I was looking for a magazine at checkout today, I like National Geo, Better Homes (I'm such a house wife!), and food mags, but I had to wade through a ton of celebrity mags to find anything. Literally 20+ magazines dedicated to nothing but what celebrity has more fat on her tummy and who is dating who in the latest tv dramas! We also have tons of perfumes and, get this, FOOD products supposedly designed and endorsed by celebrities. What does JLo know about perfume? What do actors know about nutrician? Forget reading the ingredients list, this burger has to be good for me b/c Paris Hilton eats it!

I don't know why everyone is so obsessed either; to me, it's boring, but despite my own opinion, I cannot ignore the impact it has on the people around me. Any ideas what makes the two cultures so different?

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

11,203

111

401

Do you think perhaps it may be that the US has such a huge celebrity "obsession " that this could be the reason teens over there may be more likely to be influenced by the Media ?

Australia has an interest in celebrity but I dont think it's as big as it may be over there .

[deleted account]

I do agree that not *all* teens would be influenced to act like that by the show, but I cannot deny that the show will influence a large number teens to do those things who would not have been persuaded to do them otherwise. Even if the show leads only a small number of teens to these behaviors, do we really want shows that teach teens that they can get away with this kind of crap and not get caught?

Also, unfortunately, Dana is right. American teens are heavily influenced by what they see on tv. Yes, it is our own fault, and individually, many parents are taking steps to curb what our kids have access to view, but many, many parents are not. Unfortunately, the same parents who are not limiting their kids tv exposure are usually the same parents who are overly uninvolved in the lives of their children, and thus unable to counteract the tv shows influence.
If a child is in a family where the parents are involved enough to counter the influence of the show, then I don't think it would be a problem, but in the US, that would not be the norm. Highly involved parents would likely not let their kids watch in the first place, while less involved parents would let the kids watch and have too little bearing and influence to make the kid understand that the show is not portraying a realistic norm--especially when the show is marketed here as being a "truthful depiction of teen culture" Teens form those families WILL think this is how teens should act and that it is okay to act this way.

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

11,203

111

401

"
You are naive because you fail to see or fail to acknowledge that and how this show will influence the behavior of teens. "

Ok I see where you are coming from there then although I respectfully disagree , I acknowledge *some* teens maybe influenced by media however I think they are more likely to be influenced by real life environment and people .

[deleted account]

I do think that if you're watching the show *with* your teen and talking about the things happening then it could help. It's the teens who's parents are completely uninvolved that I worry about. BTW, I didn't have police in my school either. The teachers/administrators were the ones busting people.

[deleted account]

"Anyway I still fail to see how I am the naive one , how is it Naive to encompass all realities and be prepared ?"

You are naive because you fail to see or fail to acknowledge that and how this show will influence the behavior of teens. Teens do what they think other teens are doing. They feel the need to fit into a peer group and they will do what it takes to fit in. Why do most teens smoke? Because their friends were doing it. Why do they have sex? Because everyone else was doing it. Why do they do drugs?....do you see the pattern yet?
Unfortunately, market studies do show that teens are influenced by the characters they see in shows--Take the Vampire Diaries which portrays teens in love with vampires and having sexual relationships. I was in Clairs (an accessories store aimed at teens) the other day and half the store was filled with vampire jewelry--I can assure you, teens would not be buying ugly vampire accessories if they were not seeing them being worn on TV. Sure, buying tacky jewelry is harmless, but if seeing jewelry on tv is enough to make so many teens buy it that half of the store is consumed buy fake vampire stuff, then what is to say that seeing teens having sexual relationships, doing drugs, and pulling other unsafe stunts is not going to persuade a large part of that population to engage in those behaviors?

The "lawless ghetto" statement was a literary reference to the extremity of the show. It was in no way intended to imply that I thought you lived in lawless ghettos, I'm well aware that you don't. I apologize, I thought it was more obvious than it apparently was.

Dana - posted on 01/23/2011

11,264

35

489

I saw clips of it, it's rather messed up if you ask me. One version in one country doesn't mean it's the same in all others either. In the end, teen pregnancy is being glorified as it is by MTV. I just saw where there's a school here in the States where 80% of the senior class is pregnant, that's F-ed up.



Bottom line, MTV is full of trash anymore.

[deleted account]

Oh and Kelly, I can assure you I don't live in a "lawless ghetto where no one bats an eye when a drunk driver drives a car into a lake" they do bat an eyelid, and if and when the police find who they are they are dealt with appropriately!

We don't have enough crime in our schools to warrent having police in them, and we do NOT have guns in our schools either (maybe a few inner London schools might but the majority do not).

"If this is the norm in your area, I think I would start looking for a new place to live.....that has a police force with a back bone."

What happens in Skins is not the norm where I live but it does happen for some teens. My kids will not go to the same school I did because I know that there was a lot wrong with it when I was there (I was lucky in that I wanted to learn so I did well, the students who didn't have the same desires as I did were not so successful) and I have moved, to the next village, so there are better schools closer to me now. The police do have a back bone, but if they don't know who has done what they cannot punish people.

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

11,203

111

401

LOL at lawless Ghetto , nice one , mI live in a pristine coastal paradise haha yes teens get away with less than deserved when it comes to drink driving ( suspended jail sentences ect )but don't assume these types of things happen in "ghettos " it happens everywhere including the fact that "skins" UK is based around upper middle class teens , far from Ghetto , as for enforcing the drug policy , oh it was enforced when the kids were busted but teens are sneaky they find ways around being caught and we don't have guns here that is beyond crazy IMO , there are circles in every school that behave like this sometimes it is a minority sometimes it is a cultural issue , I don't want my kids taking drugs , sleeping around behaving like idiots the best I can do is be here for them and support them the thing is I have heard some pretty crazy stories from my partner who went to one of the most prestigious private schools in Australia ....no different .



You have a problem with what this show portrays , who is to say where they live it isn't the majority ?

The whole point of a TV show is to invite you into the lives of someone else , so you have never lived it ? doesn't mean for someone out there it isn't reality .



I absolutely think teens are very influential but more so by their peers , family and environment , I remember being a teen ( it wasn't that long ago ) I liked music and stars , I watched TV I wasn't influenced to go and sleep around because I watched Melrose place , I didn't feel like stabbing people because I watched Horror movies , I Didn't want to smoke cigarettes because I saw it in a movie , give your kids a little more credit than to assume TV is going to turn them into a monster IF they happen to go that way it s because of LIFE , real life that has affected them .



Also the show isn't implying most teens are like this it is however following a group of teens who live this life along with a few who are not so into their culture it is simply taking one dynamic , one group and televising it no different to if a TV show decided to follow the lives of a group of " geeks " , yes the show would show mainly focus on this group it doesn't mean they are implying most teens are like this .



Anyway I still fail to see how I am the naive one , how is it Naive to encompass all realities and be prepared ? Your stereotyping of my living in a "lawless Ghetto " just goes to show how Naive you are ... if you think these are the only places where kids get in trouble , you're wrong .

[deleted account]

I never said that teens who drink drive and end up with a car in the lake don't get punished IF they are caught, I said that these things do happen (teens doing stupid things like that without getting caught and punished). I disagree that it is implied that the majority of teens act that way, in our show at least it does show there are responsible teens who don't act like that at all (although yes it does focus on the immature teens).

Ours also show that their actions do have consequences in future episodes, as well as showing their reactions to the situations. For us all the main actors/ actresses were between 16 and 18 (on he first day of filming they had to be under 18).

I think maybe the difference is cultural because the only people who really throw a fit about people like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are the media, it really doesn't bother the general public here. You are right though Sara, I would hate if my children did something because of a tv show, but I intend (as I'm sure you do as well) on teaching them the difference between reality and fiction like Skins, similar I wouldn't expect my child to believe in vampires because of shows like Vampire Diaries (whose cast at least portray teens if they themselves aren't).

[deleted account]

Honestly, I think you are being naive....interesting how we both have the same opinion of the opposite argument.

I never said teens were not doing these things--I know a lot of teens do drugs, drink and drive, and fuck around without getting busted or pregnant. The point is that this show takes a small group of teens who are too stupid/immature/naive to have the ability to think more than 10 minutes into their future and makes them look like the majority of the teen population. I know the show never actually SAYS that most teens act that way, but it doesn't have to say that because it is implied. Also, the show does not go into the consequences of those actions.

You may live in a lawless ghetto where no one bats an eye when a drunk driver drives a car into a lake, but there are very few places, in America anyway, where the driver would not be arrested and do jail time. There are also very few schools here who do not enforce their "no drugs" policy. What are the police on duty at the school doing??? Why are they allowing kids to drug up at school--isn't the reason they are there to keep drugs and guns out of the school? If this is the norm in your area, I think I would start looking for a new place to live.....that has a police force with a back bone.

[deleted account]

I guess I better make sure that my kids go to a school where if a teacher walks by a restroom and smells pot then they'll go in and bust whoever it is. I never wanted to be around that so I don't think my daughter should have to be (assuming she doesn't want to be). I know we live in different countries, but I find it strange that underagers driving drunk don't get punished. I don't think they punished the girl I knew strongly enough, but at least she was punished. Like I said, I understand that these type of teens are out there. The difference between this show and True Blood (or a similar show) is that all of the actors are 15-19. They're not playing adults and many of them are not adults. People throw a fit about actors/actresses like Lyndsey Lohan and Brittany Spears acting like this, but the show is ok? Doesn't make sense. And the argument for these famous people is that young people look up to them. Rather you like it or not, a lot of young people are very influential and I know you would hate it if your child did something awful and then told you they did it because they saw it on a show like this.

[deleted account]

I have to agree with Loureen in our school kids smoked pot in class and didn't get busted for it, ever, not once did anyone get busted for smoking pot in class let alone on school grounds!

It may be showing the extreme behaviours but it's realistic because those behavours do happen. It is just that it focuses on the one group in the college that are doing these behaviours, rather than the majority who are not. It doesn't ever say that this is normal behaviour (at least the UK version doesn't).

The show doesn't make teenagers go out and behave this way if they wasn't already going to, since it first aired in the UK we haven't had a surge of unruly teens causing trouble, taking drugs and having sex, so to suggest that the show will make teenagers act like the ones in the show is not true - yes there will always be a couple who may imitate tv but that is true for every show including ones like True Blood.

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

11,203

111

401

"And I don't think the show is realistic at all. In the first episode, the kids never get busted (even though they're smoking pot in the school bathroom). "



If you lived here you would think otherwise , teens at my high school were carving apple bongs and smoking them in the quad , people rarely got busted , all the teens in my area during my teen years were sex drugs and rock and roll , there was crazy shit happening Every weekend , stuff they wouldn't air on this show , we lost lots of mates ( 6 ) by the time we left high school to drunk driving not one went to jail ( who survived )



The show wont make anyone do anything , trust me if a teen wants to head in that direction they will regardless of whats on TV and although not all teens behave like this it is an accurate portrayal of this side of life



I don't know I think your being a little naive ( I in know way mean to be disrespectful )



I also wanted to add that I don't expect my boys to be like this , I hope with good communication and excellent father in their lives and a lot of support and nurturing they will be able to steer clear of it but I also have to be realistic , I know what it was like then , I know what it is like now the very least of my worries will be the binge drinking culture in this country for young teens I have to be prepared for every angle .

[deleted account]

Honestly, I prefer Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant over this show. The episodes I've watched of the mom shows don't make being a teen mom look like fun. And I've worked with tons of teens being a coach. Yes, I know that there are some having sex, but no I know they're not all going out and doing these insane things. As Kelly said, this is the extreme. And I said before, if this show was realistic the rest of the season is going to be about the kids going to jail for stealing a car which they wrecked while drunk/high.

Heather - posted on 01/22/2011

566

9

47

It's a realistic point of view on how teenagers are really acting. I think people need get their panties out of a wad, and worry about paying teenagers to show off their prego slooty selves. American needs to quit hiding behind the "taboo" of sex and realize these things are happening.

[deleted account]

Teens partied where I grew up too, but they weren't the people I hung around and it wasn't that intense. I do think teens need to be responsible for their actions and I think parents could be more involved, but I still don't like the show. Even with all the pill popping and raving, it was boring. I should see if I can see the other versions lol.

Charlie - posted on 01/21/2011

11,203

111

401

I love skins it's been on air here for years , might be a publicity stunt , just don't watch if you don't like the content .

Unfortunately it is a pretty accurate description of a lot of teens in my area both now and when I was a teen maybe people don't like it because it shows the harsher side of reality for some teens .

I could stick my head in the sand and pretend it influences teens but the reality is this goes on whether parents like it or not , they have been doing it before the show they will continue to do it after the show.

[deleted account]

Sara, that sounds pretty similiar to the UK version, if I remember correctly one girl overdosed and ended up in a mental hospital (she had anorexia as well), One lad was constantly high, the others shared tablets and bottles of booze and partied. They did steal a car as well and it may have ended up in a river (we are now on the 5th series so I am really having to work hard to remember the storylines). Like Sarah pointed out I don't think anyone really batted an eyelid when it came out here, it is what it is, that being a show aimed at young adults that is an exageration of what they go through in life.

Wendy, I was joking, I'm not ashamed to be in the minority, I enjoy the show (the new series starts next week woohoo). It is one of my guilty pleasures :-)

Nikkole - posted on 01/21/2011

1,505

31

49

I saw a preview for this show and i was like GREAT another crappy show for very influential teens and pre teens to watch!! We already have too many shows on tv right ow that are just stupid and teach kids the wrong thing like bad girls club,16 and pregnant,and some others i cant think of right now but all these shows are making me want to cancel cable i dont want my kids seeing this crap!

Wendy - posted on 01/21/2011

108

0

5

Awww Toni, don't hang your head in shame just 'cos you don't share the majority view here. If some of us defaulted to that we'd have scoliosis so bad we'd be “eye to eye” with our private parts. :)



I can count the times I’ve watched TV in the past year on one hand, so I haven't seen the British or MTV version of this show, but the controversy around it sounds like yet another ploy to blame the entertainment industry for human debauchery. I was no angel when I was a teenager, nor were any other teenagers I knew but it wasn't because we listened to G.G. Alin and read The Satanic Witch. We did those things because we were naturally curious, thrill-seeking teens who “rebelled” for a period of our lives and came out of it all the wiser. Teens have always had sex and taken drugs. This is nothing new and it will never change. That is what makes them teenagers. It’s up to the parents to monitor and be realistic about their child’s behavior and step in when necessary. Pop culture gets the blame for all of the perceived evils in modern society. Accountability is becoming a thing of the past.

[deleted account]

I think MTV's version is much more intense. There are kids packed in a club smoking pot, getting hammered, pretty much having sex on the dance floor. This show would be too much for me even if they were adults, but they're not. It's a show of children.

Sarah - posted on 01/21/2011

5,465

31

331

I watched some of the first series when it aired in the UK, I didn't think it was that bad!
It's just real issues rather than the more fluffy "Sweet Valley High" issues.

Shows like that do tend to be accepted over here though, I don't remember anybody batting an eyelid when it started over here! lol

[deleted account]

*Hangs head in shame*

I really enjoy the British version of Skins (although it has got worse since the first series) it does actually in its own special way deal with issues facing young people and how they deal with them, it is not all about drugs, sex and getting absolutely trollied, it looks at friendships and how friends support each other in times of need. For example in the first series the lead character is hit by a bus (very last episode), the second series then demonstrated how he coped and how his friends coped with his new disabilities (and brain trauma), other issues the show has dealt with include mental illness, anorexia, homosexuality, and sibling rivalry. It may not be high class but it is enjoyable, although the MTV version is an adaption so may be different to our version :-)

[deleted account]

Yeah. The scenes I saw were girls talking about wanting sex and nothing else, kids getting totally smashed and high, etc. I thought it was a joke at first. Guess I shouldn't be surprised. MTV's shows aren't exactly classy. lol.

[deleted account]

The thing that bugs me the most is that they have underage kids (some as young as 15!!!) playing these roles. IMO, that is wrong... and apparently the law thinks the same thing...

[deleted account]

Yeah, this show weirds me out. I've only seen clips of it, but it's disturbing. They need to get rid of it ASAP.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms