While MTV's new show 'Skins' takes heat for being too hot (critics equate it to child pornography and advertisers are pulling out), one thing's for sure: It almost certainly makes a star out of Sofia Black-D'Elia, who plays a lesbian teen on the controversial series. Sofia defends 'Skins' on my HDNet show 'Naughty But Nice With Rob,' telling me people should watch before they judge.
"It's pushing the boundaries for teen drama because I think 'Skins' goes where other shows are afraid to," Sofia says, arguing that she believes most of the controversy is tied to the fact that the cast is comprised of actual teens whose characters are "doing these things," like having sex and doing drugs.
Sofia, 18, defends the show, saying, "It's what teens are doing. It's the way teenagers believe, I think, especially you know in certain situations when you come from home lives where your parents don't really support you or really listen to you. That's what most of these kids are going through."
She added, "And so, um, the drugs and the sex, they're vices, and that's what teenagers have."
'Skins' debuted Monday to 3.3 million viewers, most of them between ages 12-34. Since then a major sponsor, Taco Bell, has pulled its advertising, and on Thursday the influential Parents Television Council, a TV watchdog group, called for a federal child porn probe.
MTV isn't shaken, saying in a statement that they are "confident that the episodes of 'Skins' will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers."
Further, a TV executive who knows about all the inner workings of MTV tells me that the network has always parlayed controversy into ratings and that nothing will be different about 'Skins.'
"At the end of the day controversy mean ratings," my source says. "MTV has always been know for addressing teen and young people's issues and concerns with respect and honesty."
With such huge ratings for the debut, 'Skins' will not be going anywhere soon, and neither will young actress Sofia Black-D'Elia. Trust me, this talented young lady, who you may have seen on 'All My Children,' will be around for a long time. See for yourself: 'Skins' airs Mondays at 10PM.