A local community prevention specialist warns parents that MTV’s new TV series "Skins" depicts teens who display unsafe behavior without consequences. Christina Hayes with the Northwest Kansas Regional Prevention Center said parents should be aware of the show and talk to their teenagers about real life vs. MTV.
"Skins" is far from the realistic snapshot of American teens it portends to be, said Hayes, who has offices in Great Bend and Hays, and is a member of the Healthy Communities Coalition in Barton County.
"I realized not many of you (coalition members) know about it yet," Hayes said of the controversial TV series that premiered on Jan. 17. She shared a statement from the Drug Free Action Alliance, advising parents that the show "depicts a group of teens who regularly engage in sex, drugs and drinking, without any consequences."
"Episode 4 features a parent-hosted underage drinking party as well as unlawful distribution of prescription medication from one teen to her friends. 'Skins' normalizes illegal substance use through its failure to depict the negative effects associated with illegal activity. Additionally, 'Skins' features actors aged 15-18 playing the teens and a teen advisory group that works with the writers.
"According to MTV, ‘Be it sex, drugs, the breadth of friendships and the depth of heartbreaks, 'Skins' is an emotional mosh-pit that slams through the insanity of teenage years. They’ll crush hearts and burn brain cells, while fearlessly confronting every obstacle head on ... or slightly off.’
"Most teens are not engaging in these high risk behaviors, yet the cast, the creator and the network regularly defend the show as a thoughtful and honest portrayal of teen life today. Talk with your teens about the community impact of 'Skins'' misrepresentation. Empower them to speak out against 'Skins' and its inaccuracies by contacting MTV, and utilizing social media to express their outrage at the shows disregard for an accurate portrayal of teen culture."
Resources for writing a letter to MTV or using social networking to protest the show are available at DrugFreeActionAlliance.org.