A girl-on-girl lip lock, a movie in which a bulldog masturbates, and a marijuana-smoking middle school teacher are among the nominees for the 2011 Teen Choice Awards. Yes that’s right, an awards show specifically aimed at 13-19 year olds will be featuring inappropriate content more suited for the panel of adults that chose the nominees.
This year, teens will vote for their favorites, ranging from artists with hits about S&M, to sex and drug-filled R-rated comedies, to favorite “break up” songs – one nominated song features the “f” word 16 times.
Sunday August 7, 2011 marks the 13th annual Teen Choice Awards on Fox in which kids around the country will tune in to see how favorite movies, songs, actors and television series (for which they voted by phone or online) do against their competitors. In 2009, more than 83 million votes were cast online. The star-studded event is always a hit, attracting A-List actors like Reese Witherspoon, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake, Grammy-winning musicians like Rihanna, Britney Spears and Taylor Swift, and television stars like Steve Carell and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
However, this year’s crop of nominees is particularly adult-themed, and that is likely because “adults” were on the secret panel that determines the nominees. Ten nominated movies are rated “R,” meaning children under age 17 are not permitted. How are these teens supposed to vote for movies like “Due Date” and “No Strings Attached” if they abide by movie theater policy?
“Due Date,” an R-rated comedic tale about two unlikely friends who take an emergency road trip across the country has multiple scenes of marijuana-smoking and a scene in which the main character and his dog masturbate simultaneously. “No Strings Attached” is a raunchy romantic comedy in which two friends attempt to maintain a strictly “f**k buddies” relationship. “Black Swan” a psychological thriller about a terrorized ballerina is rated “R” for “strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use.” Sounds like a perfect teen movie.
“Black Swan” is also nominated for a scene for “best liplock,” but the kissing is between two women. In a moment of frustration, Natalie Portman’s character “Nina” rebels against her mother and begins passionately kissing Mila Kunis’ character “Lily.” It should be surprising that children are expected to vote for an inappropriate and controversial scene in a movie that they are not supposed to see.
“F**k You” by artist Cee Lo Green is nominated for “Choice Break-Up Song.” The song contains 16 “F” words and 6 “S” words. Though the lyrics were changed to “Forget you” for radio play, teens are fully aware of the song’s original lyrics.
Rihanna is nominated for “Choice Female Artist” and though her immense success is notable, her 2010 album “Loud” contains two controversial songs, which should be a warning that the material is too mature for a teen audience. “S&M” is about just that – Sadomasochism, with lines like “whips and chains excite me.” The video for “Man Down” features the “Choice Female Artist” nominee killing a man in cold blood in a public place.
But there is hope: in years past, the teens who actually vote for the winners typically pick the more appropriate-themed material, suited for them. In 2010, the heart-warming movie “The Blind Side” won for Choice Movie Drama, which tells the tale of an underprivileged kid from a bad neighborhood becoming a successful high school football player. “Toy Story 3” won “Choice Animated Film,” and Justin Beiber won “Choice Male Artist,” in 2010 as well. In 2009, “Choice TV Show, Comedy” went to “Hannah Montana” and Taylor Swift won “Choice Female Music Artist.” Let’s hope the true teen winners on Sunday are actually age-appropriate.