The Parents Television Council has called for a federal investigation into whether MTV's racy new teen drama Skins violates child pornography and exploitation laws.
In a letter to the Department of Justice and U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees Thursday, the PTC said it counted 42 depictions and references to drugs and alcohol in the series premiere of the show, which stars cast members as young as 15.
"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," PTC President Tim Winter wrote. "It is clear that [MTV's parent company] Viacom has knowingly produced material that may well be in violation of [several child pornography laws]."The PTC had also previously called for a boycott of Taco Bell for advertising during the show. The fast food company announced Thursday that it would pull its ads.
"Upon further review, we've decided that the show is not a fit for our brand and have moved our advertising to other MTV programming," Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said in a statement.A remake of the controversial British series of the same name, Skins premiered Monday and featured candid depictions of teen sex and drug use. Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that a number of Viacom executives met over concerns that the show could violate pornography laws.MTV did not confirm the meeting, but said it was "confident" Skins complied with federal laws.
"Skins is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way," the network said in a statement. "We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards. We are confident that the episodes of Skins will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers."