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'Skins' creator Bryan Elsley: 'The show is the opposite of pornography'

Skins “The show is the opposite of pornography,” “Skins” creator Bryan Elsley told The Times in an interview this week. “It isn’t us who are being provocative. I think that some of the people who object to the show are being provocative in the use of that word.”

The MTV drama is up to its kohl-caked eyelids in controversy. Even before its Jan. 17 premiere, the Parents Television Council had launched an all-out offensive against the series. Less than a week into its run, Taco Bell, GM, Wrigley, H&R Block, Schick and Subway had pulled ads from the show, and the parents group is urging the government to investigate “Skins” for child pornography. 

Elsley, creator of both the MTV series and the British version on which it’s based, says he doesn’t foresee altering “Skins” to quell protests about its gritty depictions of teenage sex and drug use. The show inspired some hysteria in the UK, too, where tabloids dubbed out-of-control teen parties with no parental supervision “Skins parties.” Elsley said the media circus never affected the content of the British series, noting that the show “did not invent the concept of waiting for your parents to go on holiday to throw a party.”

You can read more in our feature on the Skins controversy.


Full Show Tracker coverage of 'Skins'

Critics Notebook: 'Skins' dangerous? How about just tired

-- Judy Berman

Photo: Danny Flaherty, James Newman and Jesse Carere of "Skins." Credit: MTV

Comments () | Archives (6)

I dont understand why in our society we condone insanely violent programs and have such a big problem with being "risque." This show isn't porn; It is a more accurate depiction of what high school looks like as of now. Maybe not the Disney channel dream world that these parent associations want, but it is reality. In my book shooting a cop is worse than having pre-marital sex, but hey i guess im just a mindless heathen

@ Jake, I couldn't agree with you more on the whole violence on TV okay, anything to do with sex is not. I now have to watch a full episode and see what this is all about...

I am a high school teacher, and have been for some time. I am now working on a masters degree in educational psychology, and research the areas of at-risk youth, maladaptiveness, social emotional learning, and resiliency. I would disagree that this show depicts what teenagers are "really" doing. This show reflects the behaviours of a margin of teenagers. Typically, statistically, "maladaptive" teenagers, most of the the teens depicted in Skins, are those who were are at-risk in the first place (neglect, abuse, poverty). My problem with the show is not it's "pornographic" content; my problem with the show is that it normalizes unhealthy, dysfunctional, and largely a-typical behaviour. If I were a parent, I would not invite this program into my home.

I love this show, I would hate if it got cancelled :( It really does portray teenage life

I guess the best kept secret for perverts and child molesters to legitimize their own deviant behavior without getting caught: become a producer and director of television shows by calling the shows educational or artistic. But the biggest reason these shows are being shown is the media and the deviants are trying to legalize underage sex so they can prey on anyone under 9 years old without going to jail.

When we need our children to be taught integrity, hard work and getting a solid educational background --- we are now telling kids to become sex addicts and morons. No wonder the country is going to hell. They have no idea what is the difference between right and wrong. This will bleed over to the reason why the United States will fall.

the US-version is a disaster, which is unfortunate for US people, since the British version was (is) genius -- one of the best TV programs ever devised, on par with the Sopranos etc. the difference is US vs British -- Britain doesn't have the cacophony of frustrated, dried-up housewives and self-hating right-wingers who populate too much American bandwidth today. there may be complaints in the UK, but by and large their TV creatives somehow have the talent and freedom to develop all the good shows we then go and copy badly.

maybe Skins should have done a cable intro to the US, as it was in UK -- i think E4 is a paid service there? -- so the big prob here was trying to move something from the relative safety of a paid service to US non-paid broadcasting. but check out the British seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, Netflix, etc. elsley and brittain and their staff and team are true geniuses. ignore the MTV misstep, hope we seem more from E and B soon.


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