After four successful seasons in Britain, the controversial series Skins has now traveled across the pond to a Monday night slot on MTV.
Its arrival in the U.S. is causing a stir, leading Parents Television Council president Tim Winters to say, “Skins may well be the most dangerous show for children that we have ever seen,” according to the LA Times.
The PTC has also gone as far as to call for an investigation into Skins for violating federal laws on child pornography because of underage actors involved in sexual situations, while companies including General Motors, H&R Block, Wrigley, Subway and Schick have all pulled their commercials from the Skins time slot.
But despite all the uproar, many in the Boston University community say the complaints are blown out of proportion.
“If you show two people having sex, it’s a simulation because [MTV] won’t actually show two people having sex,” said Deborah Jaramillo, an assistant professor of Film & Television with regard to the controversy. “This is MTV, and this is one thing we need to take into account. On MTV we will not see full frontal nudity. Any place on cable will not have pornography.”
College of Communication freshman Kara Romanetz said the content in Skins is not as revolutionary as many claim.
“I can understand their concerns because most of them are underage actors, but the type of shots they’re describing that they want to put in episodes, you’ve probably seen shots like that in other films of television shows,” she said.
Other students say the airing of controversial content may be a good thing.
“Americans are a lot more afraid [than the British] to show raunchy things on television,” said COM freshman Brie Garcia. “[But] this is what actual teenagers do, unfortunately, and if we continue to only show the brightest and the best on TV, it kind of goes both ways.”
College of Arts and Sciences freshman Samantha Baum said the content is not entirely unrealistic.
“I just think that America is very conservative in their views. I feel like Skins is not exactly what’s happening out there, but elements of Skins are what’s actually happening,” Baum said.
Many say there is value in exploring controversial topics on television.
“You will have teens having sex, exploring their sexuality, and [Skins] puts the topic on the table and instead of trying to hide it,” she said.
– Courtney Licata, DFP Staff