Thursday, January 20, 2011

MTV's "The Skins"- possibly child pornography?

I remarked to some a few days ago that I was going to write about this new television program, that was imported from Britain. I am prompted to write this morning because it appears I was beaten to the punch by, of all sources, the NY Times!

For those of you unaware of this travesty of a program, MTV, which long ago stopped playing music, and delved into the sleazy, trashy end of the reality television cesspool, has moved into a series depicting the lives of teenagers, high school aged, engaging in all manner of inappropriate behavior, including premarital sex, drug and alcohol abuse, and a general disrespect for anything that resembles authority.

My own experience of this "show" is merely from a commercial advertising for the premiere, in which a teen girl lies to her mother about going out to study with her friends. Perhaps they were studying, though I'm not sure what they were studying.

This morning, the NY Times reports that Tuesday morning (following the Monday evening premiere), officials at MTV (a unit of Viacom- list of their networks below) met in a flurry of meetings, wondering who might be held criminally liable for potential Justice Department charges of child pornography! I had to stop to shudder and think, "this is what finally caused them to be be concerned, jail time for child porn?"

MTV insists that the program is intended for adults, yet the demographic for MTV viewership has been and remains predominantly teens. They also advise that this program is shown after 10pm. I know, I'm talking a different universe here, but there are lots of teens that are still up at 10pm. I fear that if allowed, my own daughter would regularly be awake past that hour. (Have no fear, I have the parental controls locked down so tight on the TV in our home that sometimes the shows I watch end up being blocked!).

I know some will tell me the easiest thing for me to do is to just turn off the TV. On one hand, yes, that would stop the influence in my home. But what about the homes where it's not even considered possible to remove the TV? What about parents that don't put any settings on the box?

Where does it end? Looks like this one might come down to being afraid of criminal charges. While not happy that it came down to that, I will accept it as a start. It's time to push back against the networks that constantly seek to "push the edge." Instead, we should find those programs that as I once heard, "we'd be okay watching with Jesus on one side, and His mother on the other."

By the way, just so you can get an idea of what sort of influence MTV has on our television, it's parent, Viacom, controls the following: MTV, BET, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Night, Comedy Central, Logo (this one would make you shiver), TV Land, Teen Nick, Rhapshody, AddictingGames, Atom, CMT, Paramount Picture, Paramount Films, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies. There are more, but this gives you an idea.

We as parents much protect our children. Voice your concern to these networks, and vote with your clicker!

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