Tony is determined to help his friend Stanley lose his virginity before Stanley turns 17, and tonight is the night. The girl who Stanley is going to have sex with wants to get high first, and right when she passes out because she took too many pills, your mom walks into the room. She disapproves of the show you’re watching — “Skins,” on MTV — and she’s not the only one. The Parents Television Council (PTC) is upset with “Skins,” because MTV uses minors as actors to portray teens engaging in drugs and casual sex, often without their clothes on.
The PTC wants to take “Skins” off the air because they believe that MTV is violating child pornography laws. However, we at the UV disagree with the PTC. The actors on “Skins” range from ages 15 to 19; those under 18 needed to have obtained workers permits and have their parents sign release forms to work on the show. If appearing partially nude on “Skins” was approved by both the actors and their parents, then we don’t see why there is even a controversy. If the parents decided that their child was mature enough to participate in such a show, then this entire situation is not the PTC’s business.
We completely understand that not every parent will agree with the decisions made by the “Skins” actors’ parents, as some may feel uncomfortable with minors exposing so much skin on television. However, raising young actors should not be the job of either MTV or the PTC. Also, even if the show ends up coming off of the air as the PTC wants, teenagers can still easily find much more scandalous material than “Skins” online.
If parents are really that opposed to “Skins,” then there is a very simple solution to the problem. Parents can block the show on their TV, so “Skins” will never be on in their household. Just because a show is on the air doesn’t necessarily mean that your family has to support it. We think that each family should be able to make decisions about what they watch for themselves. It is the job of parents, not the network, to raise their children.