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“It’s not really an anti-drug PSA. There are no messages about safe sex, the risks of unwanted pregnancies, accidental drug overdoses, there are no anti-drunken driving messages,” Melissa Henson, the organization’s director of communications and public education, tells The Hollywood Reporter of a new campaign urging viewers to connect Clearasil parent company Reckitt Benckiser.
“It’s just an effort to boost their Facebook and Twitter pages,” she says.
The Parents Television Council also takes issue with a feature in the March issue of Elle, in which teenage Skins stars pose in skimpy lingerie.
“We’ve expressed concern about adult actresses and actors posing provocatively in lingerie. It’s certainly much worse to have actual teenagers posing in lingerie,” Henson says. “Girls are already feeling so much pressure to become sexually active so early in life…. The message to young girls seeing these kind of messages is that their only value comes from sexuality. It’s such a damaging message to young fans of this show.”
Henson says this pictorial is “worse” than the GQ feature in which Glee stars Lea Michele and Dianna Agron posed provocatively.
“These poses are less provocative, however, because they are actual teenagers instead of 20-something girls pretending to be teens, it does make it worse,” she says.
The PTC will continue its campaign against Skins.
“Nothing has changed. We still have concerns about the program. MTV wants to say that they’re being honest about real-life experiences about teenagers,” Henson says. “But I know a lot of teenagers who lives are much fuller than those teens on that show.”
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