Debate of the Day: Does Skins Go Too Far with Its Underage Cast?

I finally gave in to all the hype and sat down and watched the pilot for MTV’s Skins, which has drawn large amounts of fire not only for showing underage high schoolers doing drugs and having sex, but having underage ACTORS play those parts.

The latest development is that nearly all of the show’s advertisers fled the program the minute someone started saying the show was “child pornography.” But is it?

I seem to remember a show called Degrassi: The Next Generation where underage high schoolers (and actors) did every single dirty deed imaginable for children their age, but never once did I hear similar claims. I guess the difference in Skins is that more skin is shown, though to call it “pornography” would offend legitimate porn stars everywhere, as it’s decidedly PG-13 in terms of what’s shown.

I honestly don’t really care if it gets cancelled. The pilot was shocking just to be shocking, and there isn’t much more to the show than that. It paints a stupidly absurd picture of high school where, yes, kids do have sex and do drugs, but they’re hardly kindling affairs with 45 year olds across the street or driving stolen Escalades into rivers. I get it’s supposed to be the public school answer to Gossip Girl, but its characters are annoying, and the show just isn’t very good.

Has MTV gone too far with this underage cast? Is Skins “child pornography”?