PTC Calls for Child Porn Probe of MTV's 'Skins'

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The Parents Television Council has called for an investigation into a new MTV show for violating federal child pornography laws.
    
"Skins" made its debut on the cable network last week. The program features underage actors engaged in sexual situations.
    
"It is clear that Viacom has knowingly produced material that may well be in violation of several anti-child pornography laws," PTC President Tim Winters wrote in a letter to the Justice Department.

Matthew Philbin of the Culture and Media Institute discussed MTV's provocative new show on the CBN News Channel's Midday News, Jan 21. Click play to watch.

The Justice Department defines child pornography as any visual portrayal of a minor - anyone under the age of 18 - engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  It adds that in some cases "a picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive."

However, MTV spokeswoman Jeannie Kedas insists the new reality series fully complies with all federal statutes.

"'Skins' is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way," she told The New York Times 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," the statement read.

Nevertheless, at least one sponsor -- Taco Bell -- has pulled its advertising from the show.

*Originally aired on Jan. 21, 2011.

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