Anyone who knows me well will see right away that this is pretty much an out of character post topic for me. However, this should perhaps be proof as to just how serious this is. As the parent who watches all the CSI programs, Glee, Modern Family etc with her teen, you know that I don’t censor very much in this house. Normally the idea of blocking a channel or of (horrors!) signing a petition from the Parents Television Council would be so foreign to me. And yet….let me start you off with a few links to do just those things!
Parents Television Council Petition – this petition is not ecifically about MTV or the Skins show, but it is about cable channel CHOICE which I have always supported. Especially since MTV seems to have gone the way of Playboy – I would really rather not have my cable fees go to pay them. I have the choice to pay Playboy or HBO and I’d like the same choice with MTV since they have decided to go down this path.
What path is this you may ask?
Well, it started with the TV shows “Teen Mom” (1 AND 2) and regressed to an even worse show called “16 and Pregnant”. Because hey – nothing says entertainment for your kids like glorifying teen pregnancy right?! Compare that to the shows I watch with my son. Let’s choose the one perhaps closest to the MTV shows – Glee. Now, if anyone has watched Glee you know that the show is so over the top as to be about as FAR from reality as you can imagine. After all, in the same episode when Kurt’s character comes out as gay, he also orchestrates a football play where the entire football team dances and sings to All The Single Ladies in order to distract the opposing team. Yeah, it worked of course, as did Kurt’s reprisals of the song as he approached the ball to kick the game winning extra point. CLEARLY a fantasy right? CLEARLY nothing close to what real life is like in high school! Plus, they are all actors in their 20s depicting these kids. And the character who was pregnant? She loses her spot on the cheer squad as well as many of her friends and is kicked out of her house. Perhaps not the most caring way to handle that scenario, but also far from glorifying it.
But the MTV shows are “Reality TV”. Now, have I watched them? Heck no! I have no interested in seeing that! Technically, I lived it, so no, I don’t need to see it. Also? Why is that entertaining?
Now, I am damn lucky that my boy has no interest in this channel up to this point. I’ve seen him channel surf and thankfully MTV is not amongst his selections. And you know what? It wont be. I blocked it. The final straw is the new shows Skins.
Quite frankly I only had a vague notion about this show before. But then my friend Stefanie wrote this post over on the SDMomfia site. Go read it please. I’ll wait……
Eye opening eh?
Did you click on her link to the TV show’s website? Because I agree with her that we should NOT “check it out” and give them ratings. But you should check out that website.
Let me share with you which part of it disgusted ME the most – it’s called the Where It Went Down section:
See those little symbols? Imagine the most R-rated translation of those symbols as you can (aimed at teens remember!). It’s worse. If you can’t handle explicit language, I’m sorry, but I felt like this needed to be exposed for what’s happening here. And remember – this is a TV show starring underage kids, aimed AT underage kids. So you can imagine the ages of the people reporting in on this section.
Sure, those top level entries seem innocuous. Disturbing, but not horrifying right? So, as I said, anyone visiting the site can go ahead and click for details on any of these listings. So I clicked on one titled “Invisible Condoms” This is where it gets graphic:
Pretty shocking eh?
Now some may say that raising a stink only makes it more desirable for our kids. I know. But this tv show and this website cannot just be wished away. Where is the line when parents say “No More!”
Well, this is my line. MTV is blocked. Which makes me so sad. I grew up on this channel. Back when they were, you know, MUSIC television. I pulled all nighters watching videos just for fun. Have they always pushed the envelope? Sure, but before it was under the guise of bringing music and new artists to people’s attention. This has nothing to do with art. Or music. Or entertainment!
This is about showing kids that you can gain fame by being bad. That it’s cool and hip and fun – damn the consequences! And not just with a fictional show starring teens about teens. But with interactive programs like Where it Went Down that ENCOURAGES them to misbehave and then REPORT it!
Line crossed. Line drawn. No more “I want my MTV”. Now it’s “Skin THIS and BLOCK my MTV!”