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January 25, 2011

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robert

we simply do not subscribe to the optional channels that we find objectionable.

Koni

I have never watched the show but from what i can gather from the commercials is Mtv is trying to compete with say HBO for the top cable show thus they have to push everything to the limit.

I read one article that said advertisers are pulling out because of the uproar from people which is a start but really won't have too much of an affect (effect)?

From what i can tell it seems as though parents are finally trying to claim back their right to protect children (thiers and other people's) from [some] media influence.

If i were a parent I don't know what i'd do. I would obviously tell my child not to watch mtv but who knows if they'd listen just because i listened to my parents. I may talk to actual teenagers about what they think of it. I doubt if this is an acurate portrayal of regular teen life. Yes teenagers do bad things but not in the heightened, stylized way tv makes it look. The worst part to me is this and other shows like it are going to be seen by kids way younger than the V Chip guide of 14. Those are the kids I am concerned with who are going to see it and think "ooo Is that what I am supposed to do"...

I realise this wasn't very helpful but those are my thoughts

Emily

Great question; it's one I'm pondering these days as my husband and I are hoping to have children in the next few years. As you infer, the issue of shielding children is so much broader than just cable. As for TV, I know this might sound crazy, but I'm really convinced that life is better off without it. My husband and I have not had cable or (or even public TV) since we've been married, and we don't miss it. We read more, talk more, and are just more productive all around without, and this is the way we plan to raise our children. I know getting rid of the TV is probably not a solution many people would consider... but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.

Cady Driver

Good news! It looks like advertisers are abandoning the show and it might be pulled. I guess speaking up does make a difference.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/01/26/exclusive-skins-danger-canceled-source-says/?test=faces

Dori Price

We have to be intentional and dilligent these days to build character in our children. Yes, we can remove TV from our homes or not subscribe to cable altogether, but the fact remains that our children will be exposed to these types of shows from other avenues of media. For example, they are exposed to these ideals and lifestyles on billboards, magazines in the check out line at the grocery store, radio, and commercials that assault our sensibilities!

We have to teach our children a value system that empowers them to say NO to the norm that society is trying to define for us! We must give our children a voice to stand up for themselves by communicating the difference between right and wrong, and good and evil.

The greatest reward thus far from instilling in my four-year old a moral integrity and teaching him the difference between right and wrong is when he repeats his understanding of his lessons learned. This opens up a dialogue that allows my husband and I to continue teaching him our value system!

Bottom line, we can empower our children to turn away from these types of shows and what they are portraying by setting a good example through our actions, words spoken, habits, and communication!

Jeanette

I think the battle needs to be fought on two fronts.
As parents our first responsibility is to our children. We need to realize that whatever we allow into our homes, our children will interpret as receiving our tacit approval. As so little of the popular culture is approvable, we have opted to do no tv and very few, very previewed movies in our house. We also strictly monitor books, music, magazines and other influences that come into our house. It requires a shocking amount of vigilance, (even with only one child currently on the cusp of teenagerdom) but we try to teach as we go. Our oldest two (sons) are old enough to understand some of the dangers of pornography and to learn to guard their eyes and support their little sisters in dressing modestly. Our daughters, even the 2-yr-old, are old enough to understand our standards of dress, to dress appropriately and to point out immodesty when they see it (even when we wish they might not). It means work, not being very "with it", and I am sure that we miss out on some good entertainment along the way, but our kids' success and happiness are SO important, our time with them is SO short, we have SO much to do to prepare them for their adult lives--we don't need things in our homes that compete with our best efforts.
Second, when we find out about this type of stuff, we must complain loudly and often! Even if you do an excellent job guarding and preparing your children, they will eventually leave your care and go out into the world. It's one of our many parenting jobs to give them a world worth inheriting. If our culture is going to survive, at some point, this tide has got to turn. Our generation can be the one that starts this process if we will just be consistent and LOUD.

Candra

I agree with you, Emily! I'm not married or anything, but my family ditched the TV about 3 years ago and honestly, since the initial "Oh my goodness what do we do??", we haven't missed it. I can't believe how much time I used to waste just sitting there in front of the aptly named boob tube.

AlexandraFoley

I too am happy to see that many sponsors are pulling out. I believe this is (sadly) the only thing that networks will react to - $$$.

I am curious if anyone knows how to lend one's own weight to the cause. How can we contact sponsors (or find out who the sponsors are) and express our disapproval? If anyone knows, I'd be happy to sign on!

Melissa May

Alexandra, that's a great question. I'm going to try and find the list of sponsors to post for those who'd like to contact them.

JoAnn Phillips

Some people are wondering how to find who sponsor these questionable programs and how to contact them.

There is an organization called American Family Association (http://www.afa.net/). They are an organization dedicated to the following issues:
- preservation of marriage and the family
- decency and morality
- sanctity of human life
- media integrity

Occasionally I receive emails from them regarding a questionable program on tv and they will state who the sponsors are.

They may be able to provide information on some of these programs or at least provide information on how to find out who the sponsors and how to contact them.

Robin Goodfellow

Seriously, you're using the American Family Association to aid you in this?

That's like me bringing in Howard Stern (the other side of the spectrum). Since as much as the guy loves pornography, I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to be caught getting off to kiddy porn, like that show. He's a perv, not a monster.

AFA seriously is a bunch of right-wing WASP bigots, and I'm insulted by their reference here. Not everyone who visits this site calls the right for everyone to marry, a "homosexual agenda" as the AFA does. Their attitude is of petty insecurity, and their contemptuous language disgusts me. They call Ellen Degeneres "infamous" (simply because she's publicly gay) for crying out loud, and she's one of the most compassionate and understanding personalities on TV.

I'll fight to the death to protect the virtue of modesty, but not for those ugly-hearted folk.


* * *


Here's the thing. I actually work in the media/entertainment industry, albeit in radio, not TV.

So I know, at least, a little.

Particularly because I work in the department that schedules commercials (called "commercial traffic" or just "traffic" for those in the biz).

Whether one sponsor declines, or another... it doesn't matter. It really doesn't. There will always be a sales rep who will find someone who wants that air-time, and it will be sold. I think Red Bull, for example, wants the time, regardless of the controversy... because those that generally buy/enjoy "energy drinks" don't give a hoot about organizations like AFA (or sites like this). If anything, it lets them hone in like a bulls eye on the specific demographic that _will_ watch that show, with so few competitors in that time slot.

Part of my job is spacing out competing clients' ads, and the fewer advertisers means a client effectively gets more repetition in its scheduled rotation; listen to radio commercials overnight sometime, and you'll realize I'm right (the commercial breaks will be pretty short). And why are there so few commercials overnight? Because the ratings are so low. That's why you see all those infomercials there.

Sponsors don't matter. Ratings do.

Oh, and before you go "Okay! Thanks, all we have to do then is petition people to not watch that show!"...

Please. Please don't do that.

That'll only cause buzz.

That will actually INCREASE ratings. For example, bringing up Howard Stern again, when his original network studied his ratings when he started out, they found that people who liked him listened for about one hour... and people who didn't like him, for TWO.

The most effective thing you can do, is to find competing programming in the same time slot and increase _its_ ratings to the point where Skins starves to death. And continue to do so anywhere Skins is aired. Eventually, no programmer will touch the show, because it'll have the status of a ratings killer, and thus a money loser for the company.

Orrrr,

If you really are hell-bent on contacting someone, contact Viacom, the company that owns and operates MTV, here:

http://www.viacom.com/contact/Pages/default.aspx

The only issue with that is that you'll be limited to 500 characters.

Or if you can somehow find out how contact to her, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for MTV Networks, is Judy McGraph (http://www.viacom.com/aboutviacom/Pages/seniormanagement.aspx). She'd be a good person to tell you're going to boycott MTV... as well as all Viacom media until Skins is off the air.


As one of my profs taught me, "Ratings = revenue", and revenue is the goal of any company. Making them know they'll lose RATINGS big time, will make them listen to you.


Anyway, I'm tired and need to sleep.

I have church tomorrow ;)

Koni

Robin ~ your thoughts are so smart and reasonable. It made me happy to read it.

Robin Goodfellow

Thanks Koni, you're sweet to say so :)

Admittedly, I was up too late to get the sleep I needed to go to church... but there's always next week.

Another thing about the show, is that it's originally from England. If I recall correctly, I've heard the situation over there is pretty bleak for youths, particularly because of unemployment.

Anytime you have a group of people that are disenfranchised, they'll turn to the cheapest means of empowerment/gratification... typically drugs and sex (and in dire situations, misogynistic oppression from guys...).

I know for a fact that a former classmate of mine said that that was all there was to do in the small town she came from (and resulted in a LOT of teen pregnancies, btw).

So the show is "realistic", for a British audience, but considerably out of context for North American viewers.

Ultimately, the show wouldn't have come to pass if things were better for kids in England.

Ben Woolridge

We are fighting many battles on multiple fronts when it comes to our children. Television is just one of them and these days we are left with fewer allies that have not been financially compromised. Hats off to all parents who are taking a stand.

a teen

That's because it's the American version, which is a total ripoff of the UK version, and half as good. :B

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