Censorship in Entertainment
By: Elizabeth M.
A recent news topic is about companies that were pulling out of sponsoring a U.S. version of the popular British teen drama Skins, due to certain groups deeming it as child pornography, and as the Parents Television Council deemed it, “dangerous” due to its content on drug and alcohol use, sex, and other issues that teens deal with. If these are real issues that teens deal with, why should we keep them from seeing the dangers of making the wrong decisions? While it may seem to be extreme, some of the situations presented do happen to teens and these shows could teach them to be more cautious. Where did this need for extreme censorship come from? Not only is it found in television shows, but in the awkward blanks or beeps in songs and the constant fight against banning books.
Now I am not saying that I want to hear an expletive word at every opportunity available or to overtly sexualize a movie, that is overkill. But there is something unfair about a small group of people making the decision for others of what they watch, read, listen too, etc. It is our personal right and choice to decide what we subject ourselves to. By censoring, it could potentially create a “temptation” for kids to go and find worse examples than what is a general representation. Just by creating all this buzz, those opposing the show may have created more publicity for it. What is required for children to understand the consequences if they were to engage in bad behavior comes from the teachings of their parents or families that let them realize that this is not reality and by confronting uncomfortable topics the kids learn to respect a story as it is shown. The same goes with music and how there is a sometimes unnecessary exclusion of words that may add to a song.
It seems that there is a separation between the people who create these rules of what is acceptable for viewing, and the people who watch the programs. Those who believe in creating limitations are falling into the higher power of hegemony and they are trying to persuade the consumers into their ideal of what is acceptable. What needs to be allowed is for people to understand that not everything is going to be worked exactly to their ideals, and there needs to be an agreement that entertainment caters to people of different influences, and that censorship just takes away everyones ability to see something in its full context.