“Skins” is a new MTV show, which portrays the story of nine teenagers, most of whom are extremely promiscuous and heavy drug users. Having seen the first episode, I can tell you that it premiered with a bang. Literally.
The show has a TV-MA rating. But I’m fairly certain that, if played in the theaters, it would be rated R. With programs like “Gossip Girl” on the air, the borderline show-it-all program wouldn’t make “Skins” stand out, except for one tiny detail: the show represents underage teenagers. Some cast members are under the age of consent. One actress is only 15-years-old.
Some of the cast members said that the show pushes the boundaries of what they’re comfortable with. Yeah, coming from children, I’m not comfortable with that statement.
While it’s not new to cast underage stars in TV shows for somewhat risqué scenes, take a gander at what they film. It’s pretty graphic, even if it is make-believe. It’s borderline smut and, considering one of the actresses is 15, I cringe to think of what future episodes hold for her.
A memorable scene from the premiere occurred when one of the teens went drug-hunting to an upscale house chock full of hookers and drug dealers. As the middle-aged dealer grabbed his testicles in a death grip, claiming the reproductive organs as collateral for the loan of four ounces of marijuana, hookers moaned and screamed in the background.
Think about the idea that the actor a is 16-years-old. Then think about sexual predators out there who are watching this 16-year-old character get groped and threatened to the background music of most porn movies. Are you uncomfortable yet?
One of the stars, Sofia Black-d’Elia, claimed the drug use and abundance of sexual activity featured on the show is something that all teenagers can relate to. But she contradicted herself when she said that the show isn’t about those things, rather it’s about friendship and growing up.
I concede, this behavior goes on everyday all over the country. What I don’t agree with is that this is educational or appropriate. Much like the perverse child beauty pageants, pedophiles can get a graphic weekly dose of kids bumping and grinding on each other, including a girl who’s not even old enough to have a driver’s license.
I also object to the notion that most kids from middle-class families act this way. I didn’t. My sister doesn’t. My cousins don’t. Stereotyping today’s teens as slutty drug abusers is ridiculous and insulting. I understand it’s for entertainment, but don’t attempt to justify it by claiming it’s the norm.
MTV defends the show, claiming it falls within boundaries of the law. Yeah, Amazon used that justification with last year’s posting of the book “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure,” a disgusting how-to guide that taught predators how to target and seduce children, on its Web site.
MTV went on to say the show is a way of educating parents on what their teenagers are doing. Of course, because MTV is the channel of choice for most parents. There are more informative sources than a fictional television show that can educate parents on their teenager’s behavior. HelpForTroubledTeens.net has a helpline, which offers ways to aid parents of wayward teens.
Judging by the strong negative response the show has been getting, people aren’t getting that message. With three episodes already filmed, the producers have had time to change the structure of the program to reflect that message. But no such luck.
MTV’s true message is clear. Sex sells. And, as long as “Skins” continues to draw in an audience for them, MTV doesn’t care who it attracts, even if sexual predators receive the dangerous message that underage children love to get high and screw everyone in sight.
So, before you go justifying “Skins’” graphic portrayal of teen life, think about what it’s telling predators everywhere about your sister, brother or child.