Bozell Column: MTV's Crotch Profits
America can display a strange sexist standard on child sexual abuse. When an adult woman assaults a teenaged boy, Hollywood laughs this off as a teen dream come true. The topic was great fodder for ‘90s teen shows like “Dawson’s Creek” with not a drop of judgment inserted, proving that when Hollywood pleads it’s only “reflecting reality,” it’s really only reflecting its own reality.
Mary Kay LeTourneau started assaulting her student Vili Fuulaau when he was 12 and she was 33. When they married ten years later – and after she served seven years in jail -- the nuptials were celebrated on air by "Entertainment Tonight." The couple remains shameless. They've repeatedly hosted a "Hot for Teacher Night" at a Seattle nightclub.
Today, MTV panders to its teen audience with this same "hot for teacher" fantasy. Recently, their scuzzy British teen soap "Skins" repeatedly hinted that the young female teachers were carrying around barely submerged desires for the teenaged boys. Now the second season of MTV's teen comedy "The Hard Times of R.J. Berger" has centered an entire episode on a female teacher and a boy having loud sexual intercourse in a janitor's closet.
This is what Viacom and its subsidiary MTV Networks apparently consider “corporate responsibility.” But they’ve just reported their second-quarter profit rose 53 percent on the strength of sordid MTV reality shows like “Jersey Shore.” They’ve tried to duplicate their reality-show ratings with scripted sleaze, but haven’t had the same success.
The central "plotline" of "R.J. Berger" is that the teenaged title character is extremely well-endowed -- thus, the crude "Hard Times" joke. It’s that childish. When the show debuted last year, ads showed a godly glow coming from R.J.'s pelvis, and twisted the Bible to joke, “The meek shall inherit the girth.”
The April 18 episode was titled "Deadliest Crotch." Berger's overweight friend Miles is kept after class by Mrs. Kay, a beautiful blonde substitute math teacher. She quickly kisses him and wraps her legs around him, expressing her desire for intercourse -- "You're like a teddy bear made out of marshmallows!" -- and tells him to meet her for sex after lunch the next day. Miles is delighted. "I love this! I have six pornos where exactly this happens!" Since the teacher has a fetish for fat boys, she insists he "eat hearty" and "have seconds" for lunch.
The show then shows student and teacher in the closet with the teacher demanding he "put those nuts on my chest" - she means peanuts, followed by whipped cream. Miles replies, "Man, you older chicks like it kinky!" Their sex is so loud behind the closet door that anyone in the hallway can hear it.
This lurid storyline just isn't enough of a grossout for MTV. Within seconds of boasting to R.J. about his prowess, Miles starts itching and pulling pubic lice out of his pants. Next comes the most absurd plot twist of all: Miles asks R.J. to help him hold his pants open so he can shave his pubic hair, which is something that in reality has occurred about, oh, zero times in the history of man.
But it's merely a setup for a sick "Popeye"-twisting cartoon sequence. [See here. --Ed.] After the two boys stare down into a camera apparently inside the pants, viewers are transported into the cartoon, wherein the two boys are now microscopic in size, floating on a boat in a sea of pubic hair with a captain screaming at them to wipe out the menacing lice. Cartoon R.J. pronounces the whole scene disgusting, and then falls overboard into the diseased mess.
The affair ends with the student breaking it off. In a line that will never earn the script writer an Emmy, Miles announces, "Lady, a trip to your patch turned my crotch into a shrimp shack. Happens once, crabs on me. Happens twice -- totally gross." After he leaves, the teacher wistfully says, "You'll always be my ice cream man."
You wonder if MTV has anything resembling a "standards and practices" department, or if the "censors" are instead paid to wonder if the scene is disgusting enough to get pubescent teenager tongues wagging in school the next day about the wild and nasty content on MTV.
But the other obvious question is this. Do advertisers who claim to screen these shows really want to associate their burgers and chewing gum and energy drinks with pubic-lice cartoons?
Grossed-out viewers can thank (among others) Orbit gum, Burger King, Red Bull, Microsoft Windows Phone, Tresemme shampoo, Allegra-D allergy medicine, and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for making this whole spectacle possible.