Sexualizing children

Children 'at risk from pop charts porn': Top producer Mike Stock blasts his own industry

By Ben Todd
Last updated at 11:14 AM on 11th August 2010

The man who helped launch the career of Kylie Minogue yesterday condemned modern pop culture for 'sexualising' youngsters.

Mike Stock, one third of the legendary pop factory Stock, Aitken and Waterman, said: 'The music industry has gone too far. It's not about me being old fashioned. It's about keeping values that are important in the modern world.

'These days you can't watch modern stars  -  like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga  -  with a two-year-old.


'Not suitable for children': Lady Gaga in concert in St. Louis, Missouri, last month

'Ninety-nine per cent of the charts is R 'n' B and 99 per cent of that is soft pornography.'

He continued: 'Kids are being forced to grow up too young. Look at the videos. I wouldn't necessarily want my young kids to watch them.

'I would certainly be embarrassed to sit there with my mum.'

Kylie graphic

Mr Stock, 58, pictured below, was behind the rise of Miss Minogue in the late 1980s when she stormed the charts with I Should Be So Lucky.

In the accompanying video, she wore a simple black cocktail dress. The lyrics were similarly innocent.

In contrast, 24-year-old Lady Gaga, who burst on to the scene two years ago, has regularly used crude metaphors in her lyrics as well as posing in revealing outfits.

Mr Stock believes that today's children are being 'sexualised' as a result of images put out by the pop industry of stars such as Lady Gaga.

He said: 'Mothers of young children are worried because you can't control the TV remote control.

'Before children even step into school, they have all these images  -  the pop videos and computer games like Grand Theft Auto  -  confronting them and the parents can't control it. Talking to mothers' groups, they were saying that even they have lost faith in brands like Disney.

Mike Stock

At risk: Mike Stock from famous 1980s production team Stock, Aitken and Waterman says children are now being 'sexualised' by pop

'They were quite happy to put their kids in front of the telly to watch Hannah Montana but recently Miley Cyrus [who played Montana] has shown off her maturing body.'

He also attacked the launch last week of the Material Girl clothes range by Madonna's 13-year-old daughter Lourdes, which features short skirts and slashed tops. 

'I'm being told by mothers of young kids they're worried by the pressure on them for their children to wear clothes and make-up at a young age.'

'Lourdes is a 13-year-old girl. Madonna may have been happy but I bet about 90 per cent of parents wouldn't be happy with that.'

As a result of these concerns, Stock has written and produced a new musical, called The Go! Go! Go! Show, which is playing in London.

He said: 'It's born out of my frustration with the way the music industry has gone. 

'We've written a family-orientated show. They [the mothers' groups] have been telling me what they want  - and we have been trying to deliver it.'

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