MTV’s ‘Skins’ too racy for advertisers

By on February 2, 2011

MTV’s “Skins” has distinctions from its British predecessor, but still has drawn the ire of advertisers and parent organizations with its raunchy content.

The new American series “Skins” is originally a British television show that was born in 2007 and is currently on its fifth season. The show follows a group of risqué high school students around Bristol, England, and realistically portrays their actions from their homes to school to their crazy nightlife scene of drugs and alcohol.

MTV recently launched a censored and painfully subtle American version that has upset not only fans of the original show, but various parent organizations and major corporations.

“The MTV version of ‘Skins’ was a total disgrace to the ‘Skins’ name, and lacked complete originality,” said sophomore Tess Fargo, an avid fan and native of Britain.

Prior to the show’s premiere, corporations like Taco Bell, Subway and Foot Locker were going to have their commercials air during “Skins.” Yet, once the reactions of the public were made known, the companies pulled their advertisements from airing during future episodes.

“I’m never surprised when corporations cave to the demands driven by America’s puritanical impulse to keep sex, drugs and rock and roll away from the people who might be either experiencing it already or thinking about it more often than not,” said Richard Hanley, assistant professor and director of the graduate journalism program and journalism professor at Quinnipiac University. “If corporations want to reach that demographic, this is how to do it.”

These companies feel “Skins” is too provocative and disturbing for the purposefully targeted age group of MTV’s 18- to 34-year-old demographic.

“It isn’t us who are being provocative. I think that some of the people who object to the show are being provocative in the use of that word,” said “Skins” writer and co-creator Bryan Elsley in a recent Los Angeles Times article.

If the MTV show is going to continue to take the same frame-by-frame course as the original version, then issues regarding American television laws could arise.

Photo credit: MTV

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