This year's Teen Choice Awards on Fox lived up
to our low expectations and has earned its place on our Worst of the Week
list once again. Wearing the mask of an awards show which recognizes
achievement in entertainment from a teen perspective, the show is nothing more
than a publicity stunt to give entertainers a platform to plug their latest
album, movie, television show, or tour to impressionable teens. The hosts and
presenters irresponsibly and selfishly rely on sexual and drug related humor to
appeal to the predominantly teen audience.
Along with Jessica Simpson, the Teen Choice
Awards was hosted by Dane Cook. Cook is a comedian best know for his crude
sexual humor and an HBO special which documents his comedy tour "Tourgasm" as it
travels around the country performing for predominantly college age audiences.
While Cook's performance as host of the teen awards show was much tamer than his
comic routine, it still pushed the limits of decency in the 8 o'clock hour of
prime time television. Within the first ten seconds of the show he jokes about
being high and (acting as a pirate) jokes about all the "booty" he hopes to find
at the Teen Choice Awards. When joined on stage with Jessica Simpson he
comments on the size of the awards saying, "I guess bigger really is better."
The Teen Choice Awards Show did a great job of
acknowledging the dangerous behaviors that teens partake in. The only problem
was that the manner in which these behaviors were acknowledged actually promoted
them. For instance, Marlon Wayans presented an award for best Myspace.com
video. It is no secret that many teens are posting inappropriate information
and pictures of themselves on Myspace and therefore being targeted by sexual
predators. Wayans irresponsibly jokes that "you've got to be naked to get in my
[Myspace] top 8." Dane Cook acknowledged teen pregnancy when he introduced the
two 15-year-old winners of a JC Penny casting call saying, "Look at them, so
young and innocent, and they'll both be pregnant by the end of the night."
Some of the celebrities did seem to feel an
obligation to positively influence teens. For instance, singer Nelly Furtado
challenged teens saying, "If you are going to be sexually active, then be safe
and use a condom." Rapper Timbaland added "don't be promiscuous." Ironically,
these comments followed their performance of the song "Promiscuous Girl" which
features lyrics such as "Wait! I don't mean no harm, I can see you with my
t-shirt on. I can see you with nothing on, feeling on me before you bring that
In addition to the verbal indecency, the show
featured teenage girls in bikinis bathing in an on-stage hot tub directly in
front of the podium. The hot tub served no purpose other than to establish the
show's atmosphere as one catering to sexually charged youth.
The Teen Choice Awards is the perfect
opportunity for America to witness how the entertainment industry views youth.
Ignoring the potential celebrities have to encourage healthy behavior in teens,
they manipulate teens by appealing to their vulnerabilities, insecurities, and
temptations to benefit their careers. This show is truly a sad display and
worthy of being named Worst of the Week.