A lot of uproar has been given over the new MTV program Skins. And rightly so. It shows actual 15 year olds acting out sexually explicit scenes. Just last week MTV was having meetings on how to defend itself against accusations of child pornography. I guess they determined they didn’t violate the laws against pedophilia because this week they came out staunchly behind their product. As a father of a 16 year old daughter I really wonder how the parents of these actors are rationalizing this job.
In defense you will hear that it is a “cutting edge” program and only describes the real world teenagers live in today. Really?
The really disturbing part of the show is the numbness of soul that they show teens have towards the evil committed against them. When the characters are molested, or a car is stolen from them, or when that same SUV crashes into a river, everyone just bobs to the surface about the wonder of it all. That isn’t reality for today’s teenager. It’s just a fantasy that evil cannot hurt the soul. If this is its social commentary then what does it say about the culture we are creating? After all, how can one have soul if it is neutral or numb? Is this where the millennial generation is headed culturally, numbness of soul? THAT is a sad commentary.
They will also say that it is rated MA and intended for adults. Really? The kick-off party was definitely spiked in favor of high school students and so is the marketing of the show. Where are the people who said Joe Camel was targeted at children when you need them? Plus, why would adults want to watch 15 year olds acting like this?
The real question I have about this program (and others like it Jersey Shore, DeGrassi High, and the like) is…
MTV programming has always tried to stretch the boundaries with provocative programming. They have a made of living off of showing tragic people treating their lives as trash, and not the gift it is. Of course MTV is going to stand behind it’s show. There is a huge buzz about the show. Everyone is yelling about it. It’s polarizing. It’s making them money.
But MTV is now dancing on a thin line of violating even their own consciousness. When showing 15 year olds in sexually explicit scenes isn’t enough to let set afire tweets, Facebook “likes,” and get high TV ratings then what’s next?
I’m scared to even think about that.
P.S. On a positive note about 3 million (too many) people watched the premier episode. That seems like a lot until you realize that there are about 28 million teens in the US and 90% of them didn’t watch the show. So if you have a teen that says “Everybody’s watching it!” you have some proof that it isn’t true!