The controversy surrounding MTV’s no-holds-barred teen drama “Skins” isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Just days after the U.S. version of the British teen series first aired, one parents' group has urged the federal government to investigate the show for possible violations of child pornography laws.
According to Parents Television Council president Tim Winter, the reason for that action is simple.
“You have a major conglomerate, Viacom and MTV, that is directly marketing to children graphic sex, profanity, drug use,” Winter said on Friday's TODAY show.
Legal analyst and victims’ rights advocate Wendy Murphy not only sees the PTC’s point, she anticipates Viacom’s defense.
"Their defense is likely to be 'oh, come on, this is just a television show,' but that’s not really a defense, because that's not the issue," Murphy explained. “The only issue is, are there kids involved who are under the age of 18? That's it! That's enough! That's child pornography.”
Unlike many made-for-TV teens, such as those somewhat unconvincing ones who populate "Glee’s" William McKinley High, the actors from “Skins” are actual teenagers, ranging from 15-19.
In a statement issued to TODAY, MTV responded to the controversy.
“'Skins’ is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way,” the statement read. “We are confident that the episodes of 'Skins’ will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers.”
What do you think? Does "Skins" go too far for TV?
A controversial new TV show on MTV is drawing criticism for showing teen actors half-naked and abusing drugs. NBC's Jeff Rossen reports.