21 January 2011

It was illegal to produce Skins with teenage cast members?

At least the Parents Television Council thinks so. (via Drudge Retort and The Washington Post) 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.


“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.
Yowza. Of all the PTC's complaints about TV including those artifically inflated FCC complaints and that TV is conspiring to turn all our girls into professional prostitutes who first become pregnant at age 15, I've never seen the PTC directly accuse the production of a television program of being illegal! And you thought that it was bad enough that American corporations were exporting work to Chinese sweatshops!

In an era of 9.4% unemployment in America (in my home state California being 12.4%) and with the newly Republican-dominant House of Representatives having pointlessly passed a bill repealing the 2010 health care reform bill and now targeting abortion, and all layers of government (federal, state, and city) running deficits and cutting everything to the marrow, is it really worth it for the government to investigate whether a new MTV show violated the law?

And I wonder why despite the influence of orgs like PTC, the American Family Association, the Parents Music Resource Center (now defunct though), and other orgs standing on moral pedestals holding the feet of the entertainment industry to the fire, the conditions that perpetrate all that immoral sleaze still persist in America?

Oh, PTC also disliked the fact that a teenager was cast as Jake Harper in Two and a Half Men. But they couldn't find a legal ground to get the feds to tear down the set, seize Jones, and send show creator Chuck Lorre to jail.

In October, the PTC complained about a GQ magazine photoshoot where cast members of Glee portrayed their high school aged characters in sexually suggestive manners. PTC said that the photoshoot bordered on pedophilia but stopped short of demanding that Congress grill GQ editors in lengthy hearings.

PTC must be getting desperate following that New York Times report suggesting that the PTC has been getting irrelevant for the past several years.

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