Anyone familiar with both the US and UK iterations of Bryan Elsley’s hit show about randy, pill-popping teens knows that, of the two, the UK version is much, much more graphic. However, in light of the recent furor caused by the MTV show, it might interest American Skins fans to know that, really, no similar hubbub ever occurred in Britain over the UK series.
The worst the protests ever got in Britain were when a psychiatric charity complained when Skins UK showed a scene of a (spoiler alert!) counselor beating a teenager to death with a baseball bat. But the channel that airs the show only received 11 complaints from viewers about the scene.
In fact, the only real call for banning of anything Skins-related in the UK occurred over a promotional poster rather than the show itself. Britain’s version of the PTC, the Advertising Standards Authority, asked that a certain poster depicting teenagers taking part in an orgy “could cause serious or widespread offense.”
But if you think the legalities claimed by the PTC are somehow more lax in Britain, think again. Our over-the-pond friends have just as strict laws prohibiting the depiction of minors engaging in sexually suggestive behavior. In fact, both version of Skins use mostly only the illusion of nudity — and never the real thing where minors are involved. Even that controversial scene with Chris in the upcoming Episode 3 of Skins US shows no real nudity. "What [watchdog organizations] don't seem to grasp is that the character is not naked. His genitalia are completely covered, the shot only showed his bare backside. It was the climax to a funny scene," said one show insider.
Like a lot of people, we continue in our bafflement over the uproar. Then again, it’s made for a LOT of free publicity, so, that said, keep it coming, PTC. Keep lobbing those softballs, and Bryan Elsley will just keep knocking them out of the park!