There has been a lot of controversy and uproar this past week over the new MTV show, Skins. Advertisers have been pulling their ads citing that the content is “child pornography” since the show depicts underage teenagers engaging in drinking, drugs, and sexual activities. Sure, this is bordering offensive, but this hoopla doesn’t prove that MTV has bad programming (which is does), it shows that advertisers haven’t been doing their homework.
Skins is a British show that has already had four successful seasons where teenagers have engaged in wild activities and it’s been viewed as entertainment. By bringing the show to the States, not only has the show lost its essence, but it’s a reminder of how conservative people here can be. Advertisers should have known from the beginning this was going to be an envelope pushing show and yet they still signed contracts for commercial space because all they could see were dollar signs that MTV brings. They probably had no idea what Skins was about until after some conservatives from Arkansas complained that a Wrigley’s commercial was featured during a “pornographic” show.
Can Skins be “too much?” Of course. Does it mean everyone should be up in arms? No! I think that it’s time our country adapts to the European mentality of entertainment which usually shows a much more realistic version of what can happen to the youth. Teens drink, experiment with drugs, have sex, and become rebellious as a form of self expression. If this is a shocker, then it’s time to move out from whatever rock you’re living under.
Skins is not meant to be something you would put on in classrooms as a lesson plan. It’s mean to be a show that pretty much, is honest. Sure not everyone is wild and crazy, but at least it’s not showing a completely unrealistic view on teenagers either.
I am in no way siding with MTV, since I think the US version is abysmal compared to the UK’s, and I resent MTV for their other poor programming, but at least this isn’t a reality show. It’s fiction. Americans should be more concerned about the praise of real life people like Snooki or Kim Kardashian who infiltrate people’s living rooms with their real lives and therefore influence people. Reality TV is what America should fear more than Skins.