Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ban on Channel 4 "Skins" Poster Targets Wrong Media

England Channel 4 ordered to remove promotional poster for teen drama Skins for depicting orgy
Being from this side of the pond, I'm not exactly familiar with British television. It seems to run programs on public access TV that the colonies could only run on cable. Precisely the rub in this mixed-up brouhaha.

A controversy over teen angst drama, Skins, blew up in Channel 4's face after the Advertising Standards Authority received 42 complaints over this promotional poster. Supposedly, that's a teen orgy swirling around the main characters. The station must now remove all the posters.

I have to admit, the scene shows a lot of exposed skin and licking in a bedroom filled with young people, but this poster doesn't appear any racier than a show widely available to watch on television. Besides, any self-respecting orgy would have multiple teens going at it together at the same time, something clearly absent in this promotional material.

Teen angst is not my thing, having gotten my fill of it in the 1980s with Beverly Hills: 90210 (which I hear they're reviving as sequel). Since it's easy enough to find fan sites and videos of Skins, I thought I'd give the show a once over. Wow. If this stuff is on public access, the problem isn't the poster, it's the show itself.

British teen drama Skins had promotional poster banned but show itself is much racier
In a widely circulated YouTube video, two boys wake up together in bed covered by a comforter possibly so inappropriate, I had to censor it for my blog. Wouldn't want to get cited and banned myself now, would I?

I don't want to tell you what the guy on the right was doing as the scene opened, nor do I want to describe what he did with his hands afterwards. Oh, those crazy Brits. This yokel is amazed at what passes for socially acceptable on their airwaves.

What really gets my goat is how the Advertising Standards Authority gave a pass to material in a second promotional poster. Oh yes, people complained about it too, but the ASA didn't see any reason to issue a second ban.

One of the characters lies in a bathtub under water, his eyes opened. I'm pretty sure the guy's dead. If not, he's possessed. Definitely not the sort of poster you'd want a 5-year old toddler to notice. And since it seems to glorify death or the supernatural, I wouldn't want impressionable teenagers to notice either.

In my book, a dead guy under water with eyes wide opened is far more offensive than a few half-naked teens sucking face.



Loracanne said...

He's not dead.....physically!!Tony(the character in the bathtub) was knocked down and in a coma.He had also lost his friends so I believe that this poster is a metaphor for his emotional numbness.If it worries parents that much then they should just explain to their children that he is not dead!! I mean- what are parents there for? Also,I can almost guarantee you that if that poster had a topless male(as opposed to a scantily clad female) then there wouldn't have been even half as many complaints!! The world is still backwards!!Those Sexist Dumb-asses!!

Anonymous said...

Even in a coma, or a metaphorical emotionally numb state, the poster is still worse than the one depicting sex in the bedroom, or the show itself, for that matter. Thanks for clearing that up.