Has MTV gone too far?

The Hard Times of RJ BergerMTV Shows

I know I’m going to sound like that guy that spits in the Twisted Sister video “We’re Not going to Take It” but I’m really feeling like MTV has just gone too far. I tuned in for about an hour of the MTV Movie Awards last weekend and couldn’t get over the ridiculous amount of cursing and very graphic sexual references.

I know Madonna was pushing the envelope in the 1980s squirming around on the floor in her underwear but this year’s movie awards came off as adult programming, not a show for 16-year-olds wanting to see Bella and Edward from “Twilight” kiss. (I couldn’t get the stupid videos to load properly so you’ll have to click the links to see Christina Aguilera’s performance where her back up dancers fondle her and her vaginal region lights up in a heart shape at the end. Also watch one of the stars of “Twilight” curse a blue streak accepting his award.”

I was thrilled when Entertainment Weekly’s coverage of the MTV Movie Awards agreed with me that there was a ridiculous amount of cursing and way too much graphic sex references.

EW broke it down by the numbers:

50 times a curse word was bleeped

12 times MTV missed the bleep

16 number of pelvic thrusts

12 number of simulated sex acts
Another example that I think is just simply over the line is a new show called “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.” It is basically a show all about a teenager with a giant – well you know. It’s unbelievably sexual and very adult. Essentially a younger version of HBO’s “Hung.” And even though when I saw it the show was on at midnight it just seems way too raunchy for a teenager. (Maybe OK for college students.)

I just walked upstairs to get the EW to quote from and MTV happened to be on. The show was “True Life: I’m in the Adult Sex Industry” and the guy was explaining how he was a straight guy doing gay porn because he made more money that way. That seems appropriate for a 16-year-old.

So have I completely crossed over to Old Ladiesville or has MTV crossed a line with content that is just not appropriate for teenagers anymore? Are they aiming more for college students? But you know high school (and younger) are watching it!

83 comments Add your comment


June 15th, 2010
7:15 am

wow….i dont know why anyone would ever have MTV on lol…that is the worst channel…i used to watch it all the time…LONG ago…the only shows on there i liked were boiling point and i think that isnt on anymore.,..well..i have had my tv disconnected as my daughter and i never watch it…after my son moved out one day i realized the tv hadnt been on for over a month and freaked that i was paying so much for truly nothing…so we dont even have tv…we watch videos…as for language….that is everywhere…i cant tell you how many times in my job i hear profanity-either from an irate customer or just people talking together…people have no respect anymore….and people do not demand respect so its just going to get worse.


June 15th, 2010
7:31 am

Wow GRITS, I know I’ve thought about it but haven’t tossed mine. I’ve always wondered how much more productive I would be, but that is a forever-chasing issue.

I was an MTV kid in the 80’s. Can still name songs by visualizing the video in my head. It’s as close as I’ll get to a photographic memory. So I have a little reference.

I personally think MTV is only relevant to those kids who are already on that slope. As an adult, yes it’s obvious what the people on there are doing. But it’s no different than any other group of people who constantly want attention at all costs.


June 15th, 2010
7:46 am

well i answered jeff and it is lost in cyber land somewhere…..:(


June 15th, 2010
8:16 am

And to think when I was 16, everyone was all worked up over Beevis and Butthead. Seriously, though, if Theresa didn’t blog about their shows now and then, I wouldn’t remember that MTV is still on the air.


June 15th, 2010
8:27 am

Pssst, Theresa…. let me let you in on a little secret. 15 year old boys with a computer download all the porn they could ever desire – the girls will view it as well (Remember high school, Theresa, someone showed you a porno before you turned 18!). Television is not the problem – it would blow your mind what type of adult stuff Little Johnny is downloading on his old man’s work computer.


June 15th, 2010
8:56 am

It’s not just MTV, it’s everywhere you look. There is no respect anymore, that is correct. Everything is sexual, EVERYTHING….

Just look at the video of the 11 year olds bumping & grinding, shaking and grooving……

I have not watched MTV in YEARS, since they stopped showing videos. I’m on the verge of disconnecting my cable too, except for one or two shows, and I normally record stuff on the DVR. There are too many freaking commercials……and I’m tired of paying for them.

I had my cable cut a few years back, and my daughter and I found so many other things to do to occupy our evenings…..


June 15th, 2010
8:56 am

Or in some cases what the old man is downloading on his work computer.


June 15th, 2010
9:00 am

MTV is pretty much trash. I don’t even understand how they can still call it MTV (which stands for Music Television). Do they even still play videos anymore? Why don’t they just call it Reality Show Television?


June 15th, 2010
9:00 am

Theresa, I must be in the same category as you! I cannot stand to be around that type of behavior. Thankfully, I just turn it off or switch channels. I’m very particular about what my little guy watches AND what is on when he’s around.

GRITS, you are right, most people just accept the foul language as a part of life. I feel that I deserve more respect than that!

Photius, you are right as well. Kids today have WAY more access to inappropriate things than we did. I think if the parents were more “attentive” and actually looked in on what their kids were up to, the problem might not be as widespread.

A problem that I have is that our culture is just allowing these to happen and are accepting is as normal or ok! Why? Just because it is show biz, entertainment, etc., doesn’t make it right. If we continue on this track, we are destined to be another Sodom & Gomorrah (sp?).


June 15th, 2010
9:11 am

I agree that there doesn’t seem to be much of a “line” to cross any more. I LOVED MTV when it debuted and throughout my teen years and college. That was when it was really music television! The raunch factor that got us so whetted up came primarily from the music videos, and I even remember some of them being edited or not airing until really late hours. My basic problem with all of this stems from who is supposed to be their core demographic. If it was a station like Bravo or AMC or something, I probably wouldn’t have a problem with any of it, but when your entire brand is “teenagers” and you market to teenagers and very young adults, then I think there is some responsibility there. The shows about the guy’s giant d*** and documentaries about porn workers don’t belong on there. If MTV has taken a turn and decided it’s going to be all about the 21-30 demographic, they’ve done a very poor job in marketing. It’s all about teenagers, and their programming specialists want to keep them hooked, so they show this crap. I seriously would NOT allow my kids to watch it if they were under 16. From 16 on -hmmmm -I don’t want them getting a constant stream of filth, but I’m not going to freak out over the MTV awards -although they should strive to clean it up a bit. We all know that half the kids watching that were way under 16! This is another reason kids do NOT need tv in their bedrooms! That was one of my biggest peeves when I was a teacher -my students staying up until 3 and 4 AM watching “Real Sex” -or even MTV -and getting no sleep while watching highly inappropriate shows for their age range. Keep tv out of your kid’s room so you have control! You know that you cannot rely on the networks or cable channels to care or be responsible. It would be nice if they were and maybe some high level backlash like EW’s will help, but ultimately you have to control the tv. On the other end, they just want to make money.


June 15th, 2010
9:36 am

Like others have said, I havne’t watched MTV in years..They haven’t had videos for long now that most teenagers today don’t (probably) even know that that’s what they’re suppose to be seeing on MTV..I do want my two to be exposed to “everyday” things for some stuff, but I don’t think that cursing and sex should be everyday stuff..


June 15th, 2010
9:55 am

Here’s how I deal with MTV (and other channels that I find inappropriate). They’re blocked on my TV. Sure, my kids are 8 & 7, so MTV isn’t exactly their demographic, but I figure they’ll be so used to channels not showing up, that it’ll just be normal. But I’ve already had to tell them that there are shows that they can’t watch because of the content. More parents just need to say “No” to their kids.


June 15th, 2010
9:55 am

Like other posters, I remember when MTV debuted in the early ’80s and actually played music videos! We all knew the VJs’ names, and it became a cultural touchstone for us. Obviously things have changed. Our parents may not have appreciated us watching MTV, but compared to the stuff kids see today it was harmless. My 7-year-old doesn’t even know what MTV is, and I hope to keep it that way. Kids grow up too fast as it is.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 15th, 2010
10:22 am

Here is what is surprising to me:

(A) a 40 year old tunes into the MTV music awards
(B) it takes an hour to realize that it offensive

On the other hand I kind of get it, when I got Cinemax, it took me years to realize that Cinemax After Dark was actually a deliberate effort by a company to show soft core porn and sexually provocative programming for the sole purpose of increasing ratings! SHOCKING! Don’t worry though, I monitor that programming on a regular basis and I’ll check back in with you guys if I ever find it to have crossed the line of good taste. I take my watch dog duties very seriously.


June 15th, 2010
10:33 am

Tiger, you’re a hoot! You do know the nickname for Cinemax right? SKINemax (after dark)!


June 15th, 2010
10:40 am

I never really watched MTV in it’s heyday, and my kids weren’t allowed to watch it when they were growing up, so it’s a non-issue. My daughter and I watched a few shows of “Parental Control”, but we were both turned off by the utter rudeness of the bum boyfriends/girlfriends, especially when it came to their behavior towards the parents. As my daughter said, in shock, “I can’t IMAGINE saying that to someone’s parents!!!!!”

I did catch some of the awards show the other night, but got bored with it and turned it off. I just don’t find blatant fake sexuality all that interesting, titillating or even provocative. It just seems tired and cheap to me. Eh. I don’t understand reality programming (real life’s not interesting enough?) and my memories of a music video include Steve Martin in “King Tut”. :-) So obviously, I’m not their demographic. No matter how many bows you put on it, trash is still trash.


June 15th, 2010
10:51 am

The writer states, “I tuned in.”

See where I’m going with that, Theresa? YOU tuned in. YOU can tune out.

Welcome to Geezerville. Population plenty!


June 15th, 2010
10:56 am

We also have MTV blocked on our TV. I’m not really shocked that the awards show was that raunchy. I thought everything on MTV was aimed at being as raunchy as possible. It’s almost become a contest to see how much further they can push the line each year. I don’t plan on unblocking MTV when my kids get older because it will probably be completely pornographic by then. (TWG – I hope your young kids weren’t home watching MTV upstairs while you were downstairs typing in your blog.)

I also remember when MTV was actually videos. That was back in the golden days of cable when we all thought there was going to be a channel for everything. Now we’ve discovered that there are lots of different channel names but, in general, they are all devolving into the same ‘reality TV’. MTV & VH1 are not about videos or even music anymore. HGTV has moved from decorating and upgrading your home to show about following a couple around as they search for the right house or shows about finding their next ‘design star’. Ditto on Food Network – not many recipes mostly competitions. A&E – is ‘Dog the bounty hunter’ really arts and entertainment? Is ‘Pawn Stars’ really History? AMC – American ‘Movie’ Classics – ‘Breaking Bad’ is not a move or a classic.

I’m not saying that I don’t like some of the shows these channels have, just that, when cable originally started there was a thought that each channel would have a specific demographic and would program accordingly. It hasn’t turned out that way probably because the payment model changed somewhat. Instead each channel now competes for every demographic which means we end up with fairly homogeneous looking channels with names that don’t have much connection to the types of shows they air.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 15th, 2010
11:08 am

Personally, I find “the real housewives of…” to be pretty pornographic…not in the sexual sense, but more so in the intellectual sense.

And since the real topic is that MTV is a public nuisance, not really a nuisance to the programming being a threat to HER children, because they didn’t watch it, she did….I have to wonder if Walsh is into Bakugan Brawlers, Ben 10, or the new gem Generator Rex like my son is. I haven’t had a problem with BB or B10, but I drew the line at Generator Rex. I guess I took the same offense with violence that Theresa did with sex and sexual innuendo. But if MTV is offensive and Walsh sits arounds watching Generator Rex, then I see a hypocrisy.

But that’s what our society is about now isn’t, violence is ok whether it be Luke getting his hand cut off in Star Wars along with the countless good guys and bad guys getting shot and killed while Darth Vader chokes people to death, but we have to draw the line at Han and Leia getting a little freaky in a utility closet of the Millenium Falcon.

Jack Nicholson said it best …….”cut a d*@k off and you get an R-rating, put one in a mouth and you get an X”. Good ole Jack.


June 15th, 2010
11:13 am

How come you are just now figuring this out. MTV has been trashy since my children were teenagers and I had to deal with it. That was more than 15 years ago.!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 15th, 2010
11:16 am

My bad folks on the Nicholson quote…that’s the quote I remember, this is what was actually said..

“If you suck on a t*t the movie gets an R rating. If you hack the t*t off with an axe it will be PG.”

good ole jack!

Ron Mexico

June 15th, 2010
11:27 am

Comes down to parenting and how you raise your kids. Too many parents want to be BFF’s with their kids and it’s hard to tell who the kid is and who the parent is.

Bottom line: Kill your tv. I’ve read a few “momania” columns and you gals talk and write like teenagers. Grow up.


June 15th, 2010
11:33 am

Tiger, I don’t like the BB, but like Ben 10. I haven’t watched too much of Generator Rex…maybe I should watch it a little closer?! Hmmm…

Like many of you, I don’t particularly care for violence just for the sake of violence (same with cursing, sex, etc.) When my son asks why he can’t watch something, I try to give him an honest reason (along with the famous standby of because I said so!)

I never really cared for MTV when it was popular back in the day. I sure don’t care for it now! I’m SO sick of reality TV too. We are just about ready to cut our cable down to basically the kid stations.


June 15th, 2010
11:36 am

MTV has always been a bit trashy, no? The only time I watch now is for Nitro Circus. I used to only watch it for Jackass, Bam, and Wild Boyz. They haven’t played music for a while, but last time they did, it generally sucked unless it was some rock, which they’ve turned away from in favor of rap and RB and hip-hop for quite some time. The only good thing about them not doing vids anymore is they don’t have the crappy black videos on anymore.

I understand the over-sexualization you witnessed, though I did not see that particular program. That is the state of our youth culture today: Hyper-sexuality. It was Hi-Sexuality shortly ago. The culture is changing very quickly and we are seeing the mores change quickly, too.

If you want to escape it, get rid of your cable television, severely restrict the internet, don’t let your kids have camera phones, and only let your children associate with the same kinds of kids.


June 15th, 2010
11:51 am

Censorship is Un American! http://www.theroc.org Long live Ozzy!


June 15th, 2010
11:57 am

Here’s a news flash for you… this is what MTV does. They are professional provocateurs. They shock, they poke, they just want to be talked about the next day. They were responsible for Janet Jackson’s so-called ‘wardrobe malfunction’. Their programming is one endless pandering scream for the lowest common denominator. As a parent, if it’s on in your home, you’re just enabling them.

Just sayin’.


June 15th, 2010
12:02 pm

I actually have less problem with violence as long as there are Clear good guys and bad guys. Sex, crudeness and cursing in today’s shows and movies almost always occurs for no good reason.

I do have to agree a little with Tiger… I don’t really understand a 40 year old even wanting to watch the MTV awards. The level of immaturity that the show is obviously going to display would turn me off even if I was *actually* interested in who won what MTV award. I can think of way too many things I’d rather do that watch the MTV awards. (I think cleaning my bathroom would even rank higher…)

At some point you have to give up the “I’m worried about people thinking I’m old” attitude. Once you pass 35, it really doesn’t matter how *cool* you think you are; if the person is under the age of 25, they think you are old. If they are under 20, they probably think you are ancient and a fuddy-duddy irregardless of what shows you watch or don’t watch.

Also, I’m hoping the last line of the article was sarcastic or mistyped. I would think a porn star documentary is *inappropriate* for a 16-yr-old.


June 15th, 2010
12:08 pm

Please go watch the movies Cabaret and Sweet Charity…both movies made nearly 40 years ago…have suggestive costumes, provacative dancing, story lines that push sexual boundaries…and those movies are considered classic because they clearly ‘document’ a specific time in the 20th century.

If you do not like it – change the channel.


June 15th, 2010
12:14 pm

Truthfully sexual references and bad language sells….I am in the entertainment business (personal bodyguard) here in Atlanta, Ga. I have worked for country singers, R & B singers, Rappers…Actors etc. The point is most of everything you hear on the radio or see on T.V. is strictly based on ratings and sells. The only way these shows or entertainers are allowed to continue is if consumers back it. I say this to say that many people are commenting how bad these things are but support it by watching….even the comments in here are based on someone actually “TUNING IN” as I so eloquently heard it stated…..by tuning in you are actually secretly as it may seem supporting.. Just my two cents worth

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 15th, 2010
12:19 pm

@Penguinmom….My problem with the hypocrisy between sex and violence is that everyone seems to sit back and get uptight about the depictions of each. Apparently, showing good guys shooting bad guys or beating them in nice clean tidy transactions is ok. To me, that IS the disturbing part. When someone gets shot, or stabbed, or beaten viciously, it’s a messy scene and isn’t over the second the weapon hits. I think that depiction really anesthestizes youth to the serious awful ramifications of weapons and violence and doesn’t accurately depict acts of violence. Quite the opposite, it glorifies it as an act between good and evil.

However, just like this complaint today from TWG, the depiction of sex as anything other than an ultimate act of love and respect is deemed to be detrimental to society and sending a bad message to our youth. But the funny part is this, look around you and at the TV shows parents are watching (Desperate Housewives, soap operas, Grey’s Anatomy), and the sex is pretty much being portrayed in a way this is accurate to how the adult population of the US is acting. Without concerns for love and respect.

So maybe that’s the real problem. We watch MTV and we realize that behaviour is closer to reality that we are comfortable with, and we really want our entertainment to have nothing to do with reality.

Ask yourselves this, if somehow your 7-8 year old got ahold of the remote control someday without you around and had access to the full range of TV programming, would you rather you walked in on him or her watching the MTV music awards or the opening sequence to “Saving Private Ryan” where they invaded Normandy?


June 15th, 2010
12:25 pm

I had to laugh at this post because it rang so true for me. I used to watch MTV during my high school/college days, but haven’t watched in a while. I decided to flip over to the MTV movie awards, mainly because they were premiering the Harry Potter trailer. Anyway, after about 15 minutes I muted the sound and waited for the trailer. As soon as they aired it, I tuned out.

I told my mom the next day “either I am getting old or MTV has just gone way over the top with its crudeness” I guess its a little bit of both, huh??

It is disturbing to think teens and tweens are watching this crap, but it is not all MTV’s fault. Like so many have stated here, if parents don’t want their kids exposed to this type of material, they need to monitor what comes into their household. It’s not up to MTV to police your children. If you don’t like it, do what I plan on doing…don’t watch!

David S

June 15th, 2010
12:30 pm

You are finally noticing the problem with MTV? This channel has been worthless since they decided to stop showing videos and start showing porn-reality. Sad that they now own CMT and will likely be doing the same.

Wounded Warrior

June 15th, 2010
12:31 pm

stopped watching mtv when they stopped showing videos and TRL, and I am in my 30s with two daughters.


June 15th, 2010
12:32 pm

MTV has been degenerate from its inception, so where’s the news? Why do you have it on at all? Are you trying to find ways to destroy your children?

Immorality and sleaze are not signs of progress, but are as old-fashioned as Sodom and Gomorrah. Progress involves moral progress. Be progressive.


June 15th, 2010
12:39 pm

Yes, yes, of course MTV has gone to far. Get rid of all this Rap nonsense and play some Slim Whitman and maybe ABBA.

Eddie Cochran

June 15th, 2010
12:55 pm

You’re foolish if you think MTV is anything more than porn for teenagers. Having one’s explitives beeped is actually “cooler” than dropping F-bombs. You want to know how I solved the problem? I got rid of cable. No TV in our house. We watch an occassional DVD, otherwise my 10 year-old reads, writes, rides a bike or plays baseball with other kids. I was at a friend’s home this weekend and her daughter was watching the endless loop of the Awards show, and I was amused when some foul-mouth loser started chanting “F**K BP!” Yeah, and F**K YOU for driving a “tricked out” Escalade, or Hummer, and trucking your stage accross the country in a wagon train of semis. MTV is to teenagers what the Disney Channel is to toddlers. The question you should ask is, have you gone too far in allowing your children to be exposed to such crap.


June 15th, 2010
1:00 pm

Most everything Hollywood-related is pure trash and definitely inappropriate for kids. But then again, the agenda Hollywood pushes is exactly what most Americans find offensive, but watch anyway…kinda like sneaking a peak at the accident while driving home.


June 15th, 2010
1:13 pm

It doesn’t surprise me at all. MTV had been going downhill since they started introducing “original” programming back in the early to mid-90s, with Beavis and Butthead and other similar dreck. I was right at the target audience level when the show aired, and I hated it. I loved watching MTV when it was just music videos. Their game show “Remote Control” was pretty good, but otherwise any “original programming” was garbage. The only thing they’ve had recently that was even remotely entertaining was the TV show “Pimp My Ride”. While the show had no real entertainment value, it was still interesting to watch those guy put all sorts of stuff in the vehicles you couldn’t even *dream* of putting in a vehicle. I think the most amazing thing they’d done was put a pool table in the bed of one pickup truck, and have the bed of another pickup raise up at a 90º angle, with several monitors mounted behind a sheet a plexiglass.

I agree with what others have said. Sex, violence, and foul language is everywhere. Sexual innuendo has even made it into commercials that would be shown at times when the entire family is watching. Take a look at the Axe product commercials. Another one that sticks in my mind is the commercial for a razor blade where anything that comes into contact with the man’s face instantly turns into a splash of water, including when a scantily-clad woman, in a highly suggestive pose on the bed, hits him with a pillow.

A pointless column

June 15th, 2010
1:15 pm

Interesting, a few weeks ago the topic was about John cheating and Kate…. Now it’s about MTV and porn.

Momania needs to focus less on what’s on her flat screen and be………..a mom.


June 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

It’s not just MTV – TV has a whole is fairly trashy.

Where else but the good old USA can someone crash a Whitehouse State Dinner, and then get her own TV show…….unbelievable.

The Truth Hurts

June 15th, 2010
1:25 pm

MTV is a joke. They have sold their soul to make money and it’s pretty obvious. The only people that watch MTV are uninformed people who don’t have a clue. I bet you that most of MTV’s viewers are Obama supporters.


June 15th, 2010
1:32 pm

MTV isn’t about music; it’s about trash culture. Jersey Shore, the mostly-staged awards shows, 16 and Pregnant…MTV is fast food entertainment. Any decent parent should limit their teens’ viewing of the channel, not because of language or sex, but because of the lack of intelligence behind it all. I’d rather have my kid watch Californication or The Tudors and at least get a dose of smart and deliberate adult programming.


June 15th, 2010
1:36 pm

If you limit your child’s tv viewing, keep in mind they can watch it somewhere else. Forbidding something makes all that much more alluring. Trust me, if it’s banned in your home, they will find it somewhere else.


June 15th, 2010
1:37 pm

MTV is blocked on my TV. I don’t fill my child’s stomach with dirt and filth and I won’t let his mind be filled with it either. I am waiting for the day when we can choose which channels we get, instead of having to accept “packages”. Many of these networks and stations will disappear.


June 15th, 2010
1:39 pm

WOW! Just watched that Christina performance. Kiss on my ? That is awesome! I would totally! However I wouldn’t let my daughter watch that.


June 15th, 2010
1:45 pm

Welcome to the liberalization of America. Some call it progression, but there’s nothing progressive about it. I locked MTV off my cable two years ago when my kids were 5 and 3 so if it ever comes up, we just dont get that channel. Filth and sluttiness sells while the government and ACLU stand by so no ones right to free speech is violated. Meanwhile our children are brainwashed to think its okay for a 2 year old to smoke and for 10 year olds to have sex in class. Again, I thank all the liberals out there.


June 15th, 2010
1:57 pm

I must be a card carrying member of oldladiesville because i have never approved of MTV and would never allow my kids to watch it, either. It has always seemed so crass to me.


June 15th, 2010
1:58 pm

MTV hasn’t contained appropriate programming for teenagers or younger for years! Heck, as a Christian, most of their programming isn’t appropriate for me, and I’m a 50-year old adult! Sadly, this is another example of Hollywood not just merely reflecting society’s values, but helping to change society’s values (for the worse), due to their position of influence with teenagers. (And the MTV executives know that.) I have 2 teenagers, and trust me, their age group absolutely pays attention to what is shown and said on that cesspool of a network. Any parent who allows their kids to watch most of the programming on MTV ought to turn in their parent card! Shame on them!


June 15th, 2010
2:01 pm

The MAIN reasons I dropped paid tv and switched to Netflix was because of MTV, BET and VH1. I do not want my daughter watching that crap, at least not at home. At friends homes, I am aware that she sees it from time to time. Those channels went too far very long ago and never came back. Reality TV has become the most raunchy thing on cable. I was already teetering on dropping because that dumb Flava of Love, I love New York and other garbage, but that Tila Tequila crap a couple of years back was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can’t believe the question was even asked…..

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