Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Pushing the Envelope" Too Far

In today's New York Times there's an article on the front page titled, "A Racy Show With Teenagers Steps Back From a Boundary" by Brian Stelter. It tells about the provocative new MTV show "Skins," which features "the sexual and drug-fueled exploits of misfit teenagers." Executives have had some serious meetings of late about the show. It seems they are concerned that producers may be "pushing the envelope" too far and be violating federal child pornography statues. The youngest cast member on "Skins" is 15 years old. Apparently, executives of MTV want some episodes toned down. They don't mind "pushing the envelope" or angering parent groups or even defending their show, but they do mind going to jail.
"The planned changes indicate that MTV, which has been pushing the envelope for decades, may be concerned that it pushed too far this time.....Before it even had its premiere, the Parents Television Council, a TV watchdog group, labeled "Skins" the 'most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children.' The group objected to the gratuitous scenes of drug and alcohol use, violence and sexual acts."
It's so sad what young people have to deal with today and what their minds are being filled with. Mental health professionals are seeing the number of young people in college, who need counseling, double over years past. Sometimes it seems like the world is just spinning out of control and young people sense that. The images of real violence in society and scenes from television shows such as this one that is being described, are harmful for young minds, in my opinion.
According to a law professor at New York University, Amy Adler, "There are times when I look at mainstream culture and think it is skirting up against the edge of child pornography law." It seems she's right and the implications of that will affect society for years to come.