The Parents Television Council (PTC) has called on the chairmen of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees and the Department of Justice to open an investigation over child pornography and exploitation on MTV's Skins.
The non-partisan education organization, PTC, which advocates responsible entertainment, has also urged agencies like L'Oreal, Taco Bell, Subway and Foot Locker to pull ads from the racy series.
A letter forwarded by PTC President Tim Winter to Committee Chairmen Patrick Leahy and Lamar Smith states that On January 17, the Viacom-owned cable network MTV aired a teenager-based drama, 'Skins.' The episode included all manner of foul language, illegal drug use, illegal activity as well as thoroughly pervasive sexual content. Moreover, future episodes promise much more of the same.
Copies of the letter were also sent to Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Communications Committee Chairman Julius Genachowski.
The teen drama, showcased on MTV features a cast of amateur actors and young writers, is based on the popular British teen drama highlighting extreme teen psychology.
Skins follow a group of nine friends navigating the often-tumultuous world of high school, involving sex and drugs. The cast includes: James Newman as Tony, Rachel Thevenard as Michelle, Daniel Flaherty as Stanley, Ron Mustafaa as Abbud, Sofia Black D'Elia as Tea, Camille Cresencia-Mills as Daisy, Jesse Carere as Chris, Britne Oldford as Cadie and Eleanor Zich as Eura.
The letter by PTC mentions that the New York Times has reported that Viacom executives met to discuss whether the show might violate federal law regarding the sexual depiction and presentation of minors and has compelled the producers of the show to make certain changes.
PTC further stated that since most of the participants in the series are below the age of 18, Viacom was well-aware of the fact that the produced materials may have violated any or all of the following federal statutes:
- 18 U.S.C. § 1466A (2008) Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children
- 18 U.S.C. § 2251 (2008) Sexual Exploitation of Children
- 18 U.S.C. § 2252 (2008) Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors
- 18 U.S.C. § 2252A (2008) Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography
In the wake of the mounting scandal, PTC asks officials to look into the matter and take appropriate decisions.