Skins Creator Responds to Critics: The Truth Hurts!

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Skins creator Brian Elsley has a message for critics of the new MTV series, which he calls "a very serious attempt to get to the roots of young people's lives."

In a lengthy statement to MTV News, Elsley called Skins a "very simple and in fact rather old fashioned" show that isn't pushing the envelope for no reason.

"It deals with relationships, parents, death, illness, mental health issues, the consequences of drug use and sexual activity," he writes.

NOT FEELING IT: Skins' critics are many, but its creator won't back down.

"It's just that these are characterized from the point of view of the young people who write the show and have a very straightforward approach to the experience; it tries to tell the truth. Sometimes that truth can be a little painful."

The Parents Television Council put out a release after the premiere, calling Skins "the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen."

Our critic had a different issue with last night's episode - it just sucked.

In any case, Skins has lost five advertisers since its premiere just two weeks ago, but that doesn't deter Elsley's. Here's his full open letter to viewers:

"Skins is a very simple and in fact rather old fashioned television series. It's about the lives and loves of teenagers, how they get through high school."

"How they deal with their friends, how they circumnavigate some of the complications of sex, relationships, educations, parents, drugs and alcohol."

"The show is written from the perspective of teenagers, reflects their world view, and this has caused controversy both in the UK and the USA."

"In the UK, viewers and commentators very quickly realized that although there are some sensational aspects to the show, Skins is actually a very serious attempt to get to the roots of young people's lives. It deals with relationships, parents, death, illness, mental health issues, the consequences of drug use and sexual activity."

"It is just that these are characterized from the point of view of the many young people who write the show and has a very straightforward approach to their experiences; it tries to tell the truth. Sometimes that truth can be a little painful to adults and parents."

"Consequences do flow from incorrect or selfish behavior but in the show, these are shown to be unexpected, hard to predict, and more to do with the loss of friendship than anything else, which in any context, is a disastrous outcome."

"We proceed from the idea, not that teenagers are inherently likely to misbehave, but rather that they are intensely moral and disposed to make judgments on their own and others' behaviour. Sometimes, but not always, they get things wrong. In this teenagers are remarkably similar to adults. Their morals may not be the same as those of their parents and teachers, but they are nevertheless, highly developed and active in their world."

"When viewers have taken the time to watch the show in a little more depth, they are less concerned about the behavior of the characters. Teenagers can be loyal, supportive, dedicated, focused, and capable of making informed value judgments about their lives. In the pilot episode of Skins, it's possibly easy to overlook the story wherein a young boy sets off to a party to sell drugs and have sex, but in fact, does neither of these things, because, he senses that he has been manipulated by friends and does not feel ready to have sex with someone he does not know properly."

"Skins is a traditionally made television series which has won countless international awards and gained a worldwide audience for stories about the joy, misery and challenges of being a teenager. The show has been used in anti-drug campaigns, has drawn praise for its portrayal of mental health issues and explorations of bereavement, sexuality, bullying and gender stereotyping."

"I have lost count of the letters we have been sent by viewers who tell us that they have been able to approach their parents or teachers with their difficulties after watching the show. It is something that we take a great deal of pride in and which can unfortunately be eclipsed by some of the negative attention."

"Our approach is not careless. We've created a supportive and protective environment for everyone working on the show. And of course abide by the law, and give respect to our work colleagues who in this case, are young energetic and exciting people with so much to offer to an imperfect world."

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It's a real pleasure to find somenoe who can think like that


Ya know it's good to see such controversy swirling over this show and I think skins does need to be seriously looked into because I for one don't see any need for more garbage shows to be put out on air,there are already too many,like teen mom & 16 & pregnant. As for those teens out there whom think such shows have any good messages in it,I hate to tell u this,but they have none what so ever. I say throw all these shows off the air cause there utter Trash


Yes, you would think that Your Teacher could spell a-n-d. Must have been a cell fart.


@ Vampfreak101: That's a good comment. Keep up the good attitude. BTW... it's 'my friends and I' ... not 'me ad my friends' HA ;-)


The one thing this show does is keep a few perverts of the streets for 1 hour per week. And to the idiots that think parents should watch the show with their kids and then discuss the topics and issues... I got news for ya. Your kids will call you one as they storm down the hall to their rooms.


Really......""the roots of young peoPle's lives"....well xcuse me bcz theyre supposed to act 14 yrs. Old and me and my friends are that age and have never tried or done that shit.....


Lol, yes...really!!!


Yea really Kim??


Whatever happened to studying hard & doing all your homework after school?


I nor my friends at this age act like this! Sorry not sure where this is suppose to be but I'm glad I am not in HS anymore!! I would hate to grow up in a time like this. STD here we come!!