After enduring months of criticism, MTV has finally decided to pull the plug on their controversial British adapted series “Skins.”
Ever since its premiere in January, the show has come under harsh attack by media watchdogs that have accused the network of violating child pornography laws – with the youngest actor on set being just 15 years old.
The Parents Television Council called “Skins” “the most dangerous show for children ever seen,” and pointed out accounts of illegal drug use, illegal activity, pervasive sexual content, and foul language in just the first episode alone.
Not only did the PTC call on lawmakers to thoroughly investigate the production of the material, they also targeted major corporations, urging them to pull their ads from a show that supported “underage teen sex, underage teen drug use, and underage teen alcohol use.”
As a result, companies like Taco Bell, General Motors, Wrigley, Subway and H&R Block stopped running their ads in the time slots, causing Viacom executives to take a closer inspection as well.
Though the show continued to run through the first season, no promise for a second was in store. “Skins” ended with a final rating of 1.2 million viewers, only half of its premiere rating of 3.3 million.
MTV said in a statement released, “‘Skins’ is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a U.S. audience as much as we had hoped. We admire the work that the series’ creator Bryan Elsley did in adapting the shows for MTV, and appreciate the core audience that embraced it.”
Whether it was the low viewer ratings or the loss of advertising that contributed to the cancellation of the show, no one really knows. But because MTV’s “Hard Times of RJ Berger” with reportedly lower ratings, was renewed, it seems as though the advertising was ultimately what did it in.
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“I think it’s clear evidence of what we said all along that advertisers have a direct role to play in what type of material gets produced in the first place,” Dan Isett, PTC’s director of public policy, told The Christian Post.
“And in this case those advertisers were associating their brand name with that type of drug content and sexuality on that show. So consequently we’re hopeful that advertisers will be more mindful of those sponsorship decisions as we move forward from this.”
Isett concluded, “I think it’s a message for the entertainment and the cable industry that there are certain lines that cannot and must not be crossed that were obviously crossed in the production of ‘Skins’ and we’re hopeful that they will take this message and make some better productions in the future.”