Although Social Responsibility is not a legal binding contract for many corporations many experts agree that it is a good management strategy to create a positive impact on society while doing business, especially when dealing with children’s maternal welfare. Viacom, a media giant that has many television stations in its portfolio including MTV (Music Television), originally planned for the channel to air music videos when it was created in 1981. MTV has long diverted its programs from music videos to now reality TV shows, with one of its top show being “Teen mom”: a reality based show that follows the lives of sixteen year old girls that have being impregnated and are now faced with the consequences.
I’m all for educating young people especially high school students about safe sex, which is what the show proclaims to be doing. In actuality, the girls in the show are being glamorized and treated in the media as celebrities. In my opinion I think the show is having the adverse affect on young people, with its target audience being as young 12 years old. This a very crucial time in a young person‘s life, not to mention how impressionable they are at this stage. It’s very easy for them to see those kinds of things and want to have that same life style. After all one does not need any special talent or skills, just being sixteen and pregnant will make you an overnight sensation.
I think MTV leadership team is doing young people and the society at large more bad than good, by instead paying these young people a hefty salary and rewarding bad behaviors. They should use that money to really educate young girls that there are other options; having sex at a young age is not what it cracked up to be. The show is now in its third season averaging over two million viewers per episode; this is another factor that is disappointing because it shows our society’s willingness to forego any moral code of conduct and family values for the sake of entertainment.
The ethical dilemma that remains for these TV stations is whether making money in order to maintain a lucrative business is more important than exploiting young girls. However, that’s where social responsibility comes in and reminds corporations that they are not just accountable to their share holders. It’s imperative that they take their responsibility to society very seriously and keep in mind that not only is there millions of girls watching these shows but these girls are the future.