AfterEllen.com Huddle: Offensive television

Despite the UK version of Skins being able to exist on BBC America without any uproar, the US version on MTV has created a huge stir, led by the Parents Television Council. Major advertisers have pulled out, and it seems like critics have been watching the show just to pick out things they can complain about.

But really, Skins is art imitating life. Some teenagers drink, or try drugs, or have sex, or swear. Some are gay and some are virgins and some have big families and some don’t have much family at all. Somehow two episodes featuring these themes have caused an outrage, and we can think of shows that have lasted seasons (as in, more than one season apiece) with way more offensive material.

So, group, what show is harder on the eyeballs and soul than Skins?

Courtney Gillette: The PTC may be alarmed at the skin getting shown on Skins, but I’d like to call their attention to the embarrassment to humanity which is The Maury Show. I’m usually pleasantly unaware of day time television, but every so often — during a wait in a dentist waiting room, a sick day at home, or a television in a coffeeshop — I cross paths with the totally awful Maury Povich.

I mean, c’mon. Every day, women and men and queers and young people and children are paraded in front of a live audience under the banner of My Baby Daddy’s Been Having Affairs in Our SUV While I’m Trying To Go To Night School or My Mother Is Sleeping With My Husband And Now They Wanna Take My Son, or something of like. Sure, yeah, the guests do it to themselves sometimes, but then you’ve got this roaring, finger waving audience; and then there’s the hair pulling, the blanked out words, the sobbing on national television. We’ve all got our domestic problems, and we all love a little bit of self-righteous attention, but seriously? The Maury show? Now there’s something I wouldn’t ever want my kids watching.

The Linster: I am not easily offended by Christian television, which I know makes little sense to my LGBT friends. I guess it’s because I used to fervently believe that gay behavior was a sin and that sin would make you miserable in life and, if not dealt with through the only means I knew (Jeeee-suss-ah!), result in eternal damnation. I thought plucking queers from the hands of Satan was the most loving thing I could possibly do. So I am quite patient with sincere Christians who are worried about me.

But Pat Robertson has lost his mind. The Haiti earthquake was God’s punishment for a long-dead Haitian leader’s pact with the devil. The attack on 9/11 was God’s way of telling New York City to clean up its act and quit tolerating Jews and queers and abortion providers and, gasp, feminists. Feminsts? Oh, yes. Because “the feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

Oh yeah, and the blizzards up there in the Northeast are God’s way of stopping you folks from going off to do something gay. Still snowing? Still gay.

I’m not sure how Pat’s son (his clone) will explain when God finally gets fed up with Daddy giving her a bad name and smites him dead. But meanwhile, the old guy certainly doesn’t need a forum for it on TV. Especially right before a show I want to watch.

Grace Chu: I’ve only seen ten minutes of one episode of Toddlers & Tiaras, but that was enough to make my stomach turn.

Lindsey Byrnes: Honestly, I don’t know because I just watch Hulu and Netflix if/when I have time to watch television, which is pretty much never. But if I were to guess from title alone, I’d have to go with “The Real Housewives of (fill in the blank).”  Something tells me that this probably isn’t the reality for 99 percent of the housewives in our country. But again I’m just speculating based on my experiences in life.

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