The Parent's Television Council Does Its Best To Help Lift MTV's 'Skins' Ratings

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 20th, 2011

The folks at the PTC are at it again, going after another TV show they don't like (a fundamental part of their fundraising process) in a way that's certain to bring more attention, and ratings, to that very show.

Following Jersey Shore on Monday, the Skins premiere did quite well. How it does without Jersey Shore is anybody's guess.

via press release:

PTC Calls on Feds to Investigate “Skins” on MTV for Child Pornography and Exploitation

LOS ANGELES (January 20, 2011) – The Parents Television Council ™ today called on the chairmen of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees and the Department of Justice to immediately open an investigation regarding child pornography and exploitation on MTV’s “Skins.” The New York Times reported today that the network itself is concerned about violating child pornography laws. In addition to the sexual content on the show involving cast members as young as 15, PTC counted 42 depictions and references to drugs and alcohol in the premiere episode. The run-time was only 41 minutes excluding commercial breaks.

The following are excerpts from the letter that PTC President Tim Winter sent Committee Chairmen Patrick Leahy and Lamar Smith. The rest of the Judiciary Committee members, Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Communications Committee Chairman Julius Genachowski were also sent copies of the letter.

“On January 17, the Viacom-owned cable network MTV aired a teenager-based drama, ‘Skins.’ The episode included all manner of foul language, illegal drug use, illegal activity as well as thoroughly pervasive sexual content. Moreover, future episodes promise much more of the same.

“While that alone is cause enough for concern among parents and families around the country, new information has come to light that is even more disturbing. The New York Times has reported this morning that Viacom executives met yesterday to discuss whether the show might violate federal law regarding the sexual depiction and presentation of minors and has compelled the producers of the show to make certain changes.

“However, many of the actors appearing in the show are below the age of 18. It is clear that Viacom has knowingly produced material that may well be in violation of any or all of the following federal statutes:

“18 U.S.C. § 1466A (2008) Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children

18 U.S.C. § 2251 (2008) Sexual Exploitation of Children

18 U.S.C. § 2252 (2008) Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors

18 U.S.C. § 2252A (2008) Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography

“Since it is not necessary for Viacom or MTV to distribute the material in order to be in violation of the law, we call upon your committees to immediately investigate Viacom and MTV for the production of this material. Furthermore, we urge you in the strongest possible terms to compel the Attorney General to mount an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the production of ‘Skins’ has violated federal law meant to protect minors from exploitation.

“On behalf of our 1.3 million members, I eagerly await your reply.”

 
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