January 21st, 2011
08:34 PM ET

Is 'Skins' too skimpy?

Reviews were middling for MTV’s “Skins,” yet it looks like the show’s content was a bit too provocative for some.

As an advertiser pulls away from associating its product with the program and the Parents Television Council calls for Congress and the Justice Department to investigate "Skins" for possible child pornography, it seems even some of the network's executives are worried that the show is airing too much.

“Skins” is filled with a cast of lesser known actors ranging in age from 15 to 19, the New York Times reports, and of course, anyone under 18 is considered a minor. Given the young ages of the show’s stars and the risqué content, the paper says some MTV execs are concerned about violating federal child pornography laws, and have ordered producers to implement changes that would tone "Skins" down.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Kim

    Oh no,this will not go over well with your mom and dad. All creative producers with executive pull at the top see the Dean of Education and you're off the chain and on the hook accountable.Who's buying this trash with their cash ?

    January 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  2. Craig

    Ironic? A segment called 'Selling the girl next door' about underaged girls caught up in and damaged by the sex trade and then a short point/counterpoint about 'Skins'. This program apears to deal with the reality of teens and thier lives -dugs, sex and other relationships. I wonder what the consequences will be like on 'Skins' for the behavior shown to be typical. No consequences? They should have seen the young womans short interview from 'Selling ...' who started selling herself at 13 after having sex – nothing left to save. Selling sex to make a buck? Wrecked lives- and now 'Skins' will make a buck too – and the pimps are legal.

    January 22, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  3. Herb Skelton

    I am in favor of programs that create chat, understanding and debate. "Skins" will live or die based on its interest level. But the comments by Isa Shesay (excuse spelling) was shocking. To respond to the question of MTV's public responsibility in airing a program targetted at youth as a "parenting" issue is naive, trite and amateurish for an international news personality. And to be as rudely dismissive to one of Anderson's guests as she was, shows her arrogance and lack of manners.

    January 22, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  4. Monique

    Sometimes the U.S. makes me LOL. Lord forbid a breast be displayed during Superbowl half-time, but the mass, violent slaughter of people during the typical cop drama in prime time is a-okay. Give your heads a shake!

    January 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  5. William

    Isha Sesay says it's the parents responsibility to monitor their childs television activity and I agree. But I'm not naive to believe that all parents are equally responsible and accountable to their children. So it's safe to say some parents are not responsible;hell some are absent from their childs life. With that being said, if one would apply the most rudiment form of commen sense you will conclude to say "Skins" does not alleviate the U.S. high teenage pregnancy rates. To purport that this salacious program aides in the needed dialogue to address teen concerns in a contructive manner is preposterous.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  6. mary

    The very next headling on Anderson's home page is "Underage sex trade still flourishing online". The similarities between the motivations of the producers of Skin and the pimps in the article are chilling.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  7. Laura

    I was angered by the Issa's comment that it comes down to parenting. Life circumstances have forced my husband to work out of town while I act as a single working mom of a 13 year old daughter during the week. I am no dummy and I have attempted to use all "parental control" tools available to restrict my child's access to questionable material. At every turn she has been more successful than I in manipulating the systems. Musical lyrics, TV and YouTube have more influence on our children than our society is willing to admit. It is impossible to shelter the children from the offensive and disgusting clips and lyrics that can be seen and heard everywhere. In order to protect them a parent has to be so over-the-top overbearing, spending every waking hour vigilant to breaches in the walls of protection that the child can't possibly help but feel smothered and eventually rebel. That's where I'm at. I don't think freedom of speech means constantly bombard the children with negative messages that encourage them to make very poor choices.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  8. Jonathan

    Indeed it is too racy. Contrary to both your guest commentators, it's not just up to the parents or a problem due to negligent parents, it's that this type of show, its contents, its subliminal ideology, is pervasive beyond its timeslot.It's almost impossible to turn it off. The titillating images and soundbites are broadcast over and over again during promotional ads in other time slots, then again in other media, and then again in even on newsreports such as yours, and then again in teen discussion. And even if the teen discussion is about the 'story' and the 'characters', the images work in more subtle and powerful ways; skewing one's inner sense of body image, of sexual inter-relations, of behavior, and of attitudes about the people for whom they may be attracted to, all in ways that are unlikely to promote a healthful sense of being or good human relationships.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  9. Kelly

    I watched the British version of that show, and I would have to say I totally agree with Iesha (sp?). That show is why I watch television. It was not only intriguing but well written and the actors were superb. A good point Iesha made was parents need to be more accountable for their children yet at the same time the economy has to change as well.

    The reason I think that, because I come from the days where children were raised by two parents, and sometimes the neighborhood they lived in. Those times are gone, because most parents are either working two or more jobs to try and maintain a suitable household, and who is watching the child? The television or video games. There is barely any kind of interaction and its truly sad.

    I was more of fan of Seasons 1 and 2 myself of Skins, and I think you should Anderson check it out before judging. You will not only be shocked but amazed and see why that show rated so highly in Britain.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  10. mary

    Deplorable. Surely they must be held accountable for handling child pornography, or are tv producers and networks above the law. The whole idea of the program is hugely exploitative – as well as cynical and immoral.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  11. Paul Ernest Show

    Anyone who pushed this kind of show for teenagers is a pervert. Because some kids are engaging in this kind of lifestyle does not mean all kids are already engaged in it. A huge population of teenagers are mindful of the impact of being exposed to lifestyles like "Skin" and avoid them. Putting a show like this, on the screen, before their faces, sends the wrong message that the lifestyle is alright, at such a vulnerable phase of their lives, when they are already wrestling with the morality of right and wrong. It's alright to smoke, show nudity or nakedness, engage in wild,sexual acts and what have you. The assumption that kids are already living such lives is half truth,if not less than half truth. Kids need time to focus on being kids and growing up, before we adults lead them into our "is all good world".

    January 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  12. Paddy

    E4's original version of Skins is award-winning Teenage program is great. However lets face it United States is not ready for Skins. This shows how much most other countries in the world including the UK are free/open to sexuality. I personally don't see why the parents of MTV's Skins are complaining and worried. The American version is very very "watered down" (ex. amount of swearing, sexual content and real world scenes)

    January 21, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  13. Reed from NYC

    ...when you think about it, some of those MTV producers have GOT to be parents, so they have an added burden of responsibility to bear.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  14. Reed from NYC

    It's BOTH the parents' responsibility as well as the network's responsibility to both present & adhere to standards that do not undermine youth by "selling sex". By selling, I mean perpetuation by exploitation. Teenage sex doesn't have to be sold. It's already there. The show doesn't even HAVE to be done at all. What is the purpose? If it is done for profit, then it is a sham. If it is done to enlighten & encourage, then it should not need to worry. But whatever is decided for the fate of the show, one thing is certain...it will have an effect. Regardless of how intense that effect actually is, it will help to shape & define the culture of youth.

    January 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  15. Christian Classetti

    I am disturbed by what I have seen of the show Skins. I think MTV is not being responsible by airing this show as a matter of fact they are even glorifying teen sex, teen drug use, and teen alcohol use. The difference between a show such as Jersey Shore and Skins is huge, The cast of JS is comprised of adults doing adult things, the cast of Skins is all teens or actors portrayed as teens promoting drug use and teen sex. Its truly disturbing and I believe it should not be on the air anymore at anytime!

    January 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  16. Ethan Hill

    I'm 18 and watch whatever i want on television, and always have im an AP student, college bound, all while watching the sex drugs and violence on the TV, and I've come out just fine. Whether kids watch Skins or The Sopranos, or Six Feet Under, or Oz its just television scripted actors portraying roles, and in high school kids do have issues they get arrested, they do drugs etc..... But most of them come out alright i know i sure did.

    January 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  17. Tina Marie Connors

    It's disgusting, the fact that these children's parents allow them to even film it is disgusting. You cannot compare children UNDER 18 years old to Jersey Shore who are pushing age 30. This HOLLYWOOD industry is so money hungry, they can't see passed the dollar sign. Let kids make their own decisions when they are older, NOT under 18 years of age. The parents of these children are also money hungry. Yes it's reality, but TV glorifies it, leave the reality like this to Dr. PHIL.

    January 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  18. rich

    Does the title alone not shed some light on it's content?

    January 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm |