Idol Chatter

gossipgirlpicforIC.jpgIn just a few days the CW Network’s hottest show “Gossip Girl,” will be back on the air. All “Gossip Girl” fans and closet cases will be able to get their fill of Blair, Serena, Dan, Jenny, Chuck, and Nate—maybe I left some people out but these are the only ones that count. Secretly, I was kind of excited to have “Gossip Girl” back. The show fulfills my need for a guilty pleasure that doesn’t involve me committing any actual sins. But for the past two weeks, I have been assaulted with an advertising campaign for the show that has made me think twice about watching it.The campaign is based on the “sex sells” model. Sex in the back of taxicabs, sex in bars, sex in the middle of the floor of random places, sex in bed followed by post-coitus cuddling and chatting; all this sex on a show about a bunch of teenagers. Hot, steamy, teenage sex, without consequence is what the CW is pushing to get people’s eyes back on “Gossip Girl.” If that isn’t bad enough, each of these steamy commercials is followed by a chat-speak phrase. The commercials started out with “OMG, ” translated “Oh My God.” But the latest group of commercials takes it one step further with “OMFG,” I hope that I don’t have to tell you what the “F” stands for. Not only is that blasphemous but in the context of the commercial—which I have posted below—it makes the CW Network look like it’s in the business of peddling lascivious content involving minors. No, the actors aren’t minors but their characters are. One could make the case that there are adults who watch this show so the mature content doesn’t matter, but what of the amount of teen and ‘tweens that watch as well. What kind of message are we sending to them? Watching grown women have premarital sex a la “Sex and the City” is one thing–morally wrong to many of us–but at that age they are grown enough to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences. But teenagers having sex and treating it like a trip to the mall and never having an authority figure tell them about the seriousness of their actions is quite another. It’s a bad message to send to the impressionable teenagers that watch the show. We can’t be in denial any longer. Our children are sometimes deeply impacted by what they see on television, hear in music, and watch in the world around them. I can say this because I see teens every morning who have nothing but shows like “Gossip Girl” to watch, Snoop Dogg to listen to, Cosmopolitan to read, and parents who don’t have time to enforce the boundaries they’ve established. It’s a scary thing.Shouldn’t the CW take some responsibility and air a safe sex/abstinence campaign in the midst of airing a show that makes teenage sex look desirable—and without true consequence? Maybe I am just an old-fashioned girl, but I just don’t believe that the network—or the creators of the show—should be held blameless in helping a generation of kids to discover sex well before they know of it’s true consequences–and know what to do when those consequences arise. Won’t someone call them to task? See what all the hubbub is about below.

So where do we go from here?

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