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Why It Matters That Adults Play Teens On TV – Think – NBC News

THINK is an NBC News online opinion section that offers short digital essays, analysis, and opinion pieces. In this piece University of San Diego professor Susannah Stern discusses what it means that because of child labor laws, the majority of teenagers on TV shows are played by adults. She raises that their unrealistic beauty and body standards and use of adult language and dialogue presents them as more mature than most teenagers. She also names that there is rarely any discussion or explicit standards of consent when it comes to romantic and sexual relationships.

Discussion

What examples of TV shows where adults play teens does Dr. Stern discuss?

Do you agree with the issues she raises for teenagers to see adults representing them?

While this piece is made by NBC, their TV shows Friday Night Lights and Rise offer recent examples of adults playing teens, why do you think they published this newsclip regardless?

Can you think of examples of shows where teenagers play teenagers? How do those differ from shows where adults play teenagers?

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