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Paul Cooper

MTV Knows New Show May Break Child Porn Laws

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Posted on January 21 2011 1:00 pm
Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else. With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less. Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner. Find him on Twitter.

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Some crimes deserve harsher punishments, because they hurt children.  Producing child pornography is one of those crimes.  But now that MTV has discovered their hot new show may be considered child porn, their biggest concern is showing things as close to child porn as possible without getting themselves in legal trouble.  Instead of running away from the disgusting act of showing kids in sexual and even nude scenes, MTV is seeking legal advice to push up against state laws without breaking them.

Skins (trailer here) is a new MTV show that premiered last Monday night. The program features teens involved in pretty explicit scenes of sex and drugs. Now that people have seen what the show is about advertisers (Taco Bell for example) are dropping it, family groups are boycotting, and some are calling for investigations that MTV may be breaking both child porn and sex offender laws.

The show’s problem is not simply about what it portrays, but who they have used to portray it.  The vast majority of the actors on Skins are under 18 and some are as young as 15.  So the show that has nudity and highly charged sexual scenes is actually using 15 and 16-year-olds to do those acts.  If these scenes were filmed by a random adult in his home then he could possibly face 20 years for child pornography and become a registered sex offender. But MTV is a global empire and they are doing their best to avoid any legal problems.

It has been reported by the star.com that the network is ordering producers to cut the more explicit content that could get them in trouble.

At issue is a scene from the third episode, where Chris (played by Thornhill’s Jesse Carere, 17) is shown from behind naked and running down a street after taking erectile dysfunction drugs. The scene becomes a recurring gag throughout the episode and MTV is concerned about other scenes in upcoming episodes from the series.

Child pornography laws vary in different states when it defines what age is illegal, but the laws usually define child porn as

any visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

There is no doubt that this show is full of minors engaging in sexually explicit content.  The Parents Television Council is calling on the US Justice Department to investigate the show.

The show is based on a British show of the same name that supposedly is even more graphic, but yet it has been already shown on BBC America.  No one noticed because it was on BBC America, a channel few people watch or even get on their television.  MTV is very popular among teens.  So 12 year olds are going to be watching naked kids a few years older then them simulate sex acts.  How can anyone not find the concept frightening and disgusting?

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