Behar’s dilemma: What’s the difference between ‘grown-ups’ and ‘young people’ talking about anal sex?

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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It’s the pop culture controversy of the day – is MTV’s “Skins” too racy for young American audiences?

On Monday’s “The View,” the panel questioned if the sexual content of that program, a spin-off of a successful BBC series, was proper for MTV viewers. MTV is the top-rated network in the 12-24 demographic. However, Joy Behar wanted to know what the distinction was between “grown-ups,” HBO viewers, and “young people,” MTV viewers, when it comes to certain sexual activities.

“I think it’s because it’s MTV, because on HBO as you pointed out, I believe ‘Oz’ was on there and they’re all doing some crazy stuff … and ‘Sex in the City’ was on HBO,” Behar said. “What’s the difference if you’re watching all these grown-ups talking about all of these — anal sex, etc., or young people? What’s the difference?

Barbara Walters was there to explain to her colleague there are glaring differences between an HBO show geared toward adults and the MTV program geared toward teens and young adults.

“There’s two differences,” Walters said. “One – it’s targeting kids. It’s a huge difference. And the other is that they’re also saying is it is underage kids that are doing this.”


The MTV version of the show was adapted from the program that aired on the BBC and the question was posed – how did it become so popular in the United Kingdom? According to Whoopi Goldberg, it appealed to the English audience, which has different cultural standards.

“It’s a great show,” Goldberg said. “And the English have a whole different relationship to how young people are dealt with. I mean, that’s just the way it is. It is a different thing and sex does not have the same bizarre-ness that it carries in the U.S. You look at the commercials – you see woman and bare breasts talking about bubble gum.”