By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A racy new show on MTV is raising eyebrows and raising some questions. When does entertainment become child pornography?

The show ‘Skins’ is an American re-make of a hit show in Britain. It’s about a group of teenagers dealing with sex, drugs, and dysfunctional families.

MTV says it’s frank, but critics say it goes too far, partly because the actors are kids themselves.

In fact, some call the show the most talked-about thing in entertainment right now, but not everyone is talking up the show.

“Clearly this is sexually explicit. This would qualify as soft porn,” said Dr. David Walsh, a psychologist in the Twin Cities.

He was stunned to see clips of the show.

One clip talked about a teenage girl’s private parts, along with a young man’s private parts.

Another clip talked about sex and showed two teenagers naked under bed sheets.

Dr. Walsh thinks the show trivializes sex and he worries MTV has gone too far.

“We should be trying to help our kids develop healthy, safe attitudes towards sex,” he said. “This is casual, glamorizes casual.”

Viacom owns MTV and its upper management might be questioning show content. Viacom executives reportedly held meetings about an upcoming episode that might violate child pornography laws, regarding a 17-year-old who is shot on film from behind.

But Viacom’s official statement says, “We are confident that ‘Skins’ will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements but also with our responsibilities to our viewers.”

Some defend the show, saying it reflects real life. Teens can relate to these characters.

Jessica Bennett, senior writer for ‘Newsweek,’ told CBS News, “Real kids have sex. Real kids get pregnant. Real kids drink. They experiment with drugs. Many of them struggle with eating disorders, and what we’re seeing in ‘Skins’ is a lot of things that kids can relate to.”

Taco Bell pulled its ads after a parents group labeled the show “dangerous,” according to celebrity news website

The Parents Television Council wants the federal government to investigate the series. The group thinks the series might violate child pornography laws.

“I think when we get to this point, parents need to push back. They need to let MTV know ‘you’ve gone over the line,'” Walsh said.

‘Skins’ drew big ratings when it premiered. It’s now drawing considerable controversy.

Comments (13)
  1. Dan Loomis says:

    Do you investigate your stories or just show a group of peoples personal views. BBC American has already run this series about 2 years ago and like the lazy americans we are it was copied. There was no problem when it was shown on there station, is it that MTV is redoing and the so calledmoral people of this country finally observed because it is mainstream. please do your research before explaining views of a small group of peopel with an agenda.

  2. Skyepixie46 says:

    “One clip talked about a teenage girl’s private parts, along with a young man’s private parts.”

    Oh, the horror!! You learn that stuff in 5th grade.

    1. Greg says:

      All a parent can say is, just wait until the young responders like Mr. Loomis have their own kids. Nothing like the love for ones child can change ones views so dramatically….

      1. Aurora says:

        Then love your child enough to change the channel. Better yet, instill some morals into your child and don’t expect TV to do it for you. I’m not condoning this crap; it sounds downright awful and inappropriate and guess what I’m going to do about it? NOT WATCH IT!

      2. greg says:

        ah yes, another non-parent reply. I never figured that is all one would have to do is simply change the channel. piece of cake, problem solved. Thanks Aurora!

  3. nick says:

    Do you also learn to do drugs and party and get in bed with naked girls in 5th grade? Yes, there are a lot of kids that can relate to this (unfortunately). And i believe that kids will see this “cool party scene” and feel as though they want to be the same and go and try these things because the kids in the show are having fun doing them. Who wouldn’t want to be in bed with 2 naked girls and do drugs? Im pretty sure at the age of 17 and younger any kid would want to do this especially after watching the show.

  4. Victim Du Jour says:

    Liberals like to target young people with graphic material, and then throw in political narratives.

    It’s like “Joe Camel” or Candy cigarettes.

    People go to prison for viewing and distributing child porn. What exempts Viacom from the law?

  5. Linda says:

    This is bad enough., Yes. I think it is wrong .

    But here’s something even worse. Saudi Arabia has been paying U.S. scholars to rewrite our history books, to use them as conduits for indoctrination. If yhou do not blelieve it, I strongly suiggest you do some heave researchg. So in comparison, this program is nbot nearly as bad as wht else is going on to target our kids. reference:

  6. Chris says:

    I really dont see how this program portrays child pornography when all the actors involved in the sex scenes are in there 20’s. On that note i think that this show is great its the realest thing ive seen in a long time. Parents need to stop blaming the tv networks and talk with their children about these kind of things. parents also need to take into mind that this program isnt aired until later in the night. most younger children are in bed by this time. And what about jersey shore and teen mom what does that instill into a childs head. Parents u need to think and get over yourselfs if teens arnt allowed to see what life is really like and how hard it is on telivision they’re eventually going to find out in real life!

    1. Samantha says:

      Finally someone agree’s with me!

  7. Doug says:

    In the “Cadie” episode, you will find drugs, sex, masturbation, underage drinking, pedophilia, and teen lesbianism. Yea, really good, moral stuff for our kids, right?

    The producers of Skin are perverted sickos. In “Cadie” a party is thrown by one of the teen’s moms. She provides the drinks and tries to get naked with the kids. Her b/f strongly hits on one of the teens at the party too. C’mon people, this isn’t a show about “real issues teens face” but an outlet for soft porn and soft pedophilia. While we’re at it, toss in some child rape too. I mean, lets just go for broke.

  8. Pabriny Thornton says:

    I was horrified when I saw a clip from this show while I was watching Teen Mom, two kids having sex with so much explicitly, it is child pornography and it is WRONG. I’m amazed that we have gotten to the point that there is porn on TV. Every time I think about it I get sick to my stomach and I’m not gonna lie, I’m worried about my children growing up into a world like this, it’s just too much. MTV has definitely gone too far. There are people here saying “Oh it’s just reality, teens go through all this and they can relate” Yes they do go through these things eventually but it doesn’t help when there’s a TV show encouraging them to do it, there are teens who aren’t doing these things yet and then they watch the show and WANT to do it because everybody’s apparently doing it or in order to be accepted they need to be doing these things too. Mind you, not only teens watch MTV, there are children who watch it too, and THAT’S also a reality. We are raising a children who are sexually active way too early, they know too much about sex too early thanks to dirty TV shows like ”skins”. We as parents need to protect our kids’ minds as much as we can, they will thank us later. I’m definitely never letting my kids watch MTV. EVER.