Apparently BET and MTV both decided to ban Jayceon’s new video. I personally wasn’t even aware the mountain climbing electric guitarists over at Interscope had finally signed off on a single for his indefinitely delayed album but I guess a Weezy feature did the trick. Good for him. Apparently he pissed somebody off at Viacom though, since his video is banned for being “too gang-related”.
You’d think that a network that prides itself on being ‘edgy’ and ‘young’ would have to see some seriously heinous material to ban it, but MTV has a looooong history with banning videos. Here are some of Game’s peers. Luckily for him, most of them found out that controversy sells, so maybe his album will finally see the light of day now.
Queen – Body Language
One of the best-selling rock groups of all time was the first victim of an MTV ban due to it’s homo-erotic tones. You may not care much for imagery of sweaty men either but imagery of Olivia Newton John working out where all fine and dandy back then so it does seem like a double standard. Especially when you consider that the ending to Olivia’s video did get cut, the joke revealing that the men in the video did not care for her when they walked out holdig hands. The lesson? MTV has few qualms about sexual content as long as it’s not gay.
Michael Jackson – They Don’t Care About Us
Spike Lee already had huge problems filming the original version with the Brazilian goverment at the time demanding editing rights since they were afraid it would depict Rio de Janeiro too negatively and impoverished. Shutting your eyes for their poverty seemed to be the basic theme of the video so of course this lead to trouble, eventually a Brazilian judge ruled in favor of Jackson and Lee and the video got made. In the opening scene a woman walks up to Mike and says “Michael, eles não ligam pra gente” (Michael, they don’t care about us). The second video however, the infamous prison version, was banned by MTV, VH1, and the BBC. The video contains real footage of various human rights abuses and depicted all of the prison population, including some using Nazi iconography and subsequently the video was called anti-semitic. Seems like a weak excuse to avoid general unpleasantness and thus ironically further solidifying the point the King of Pop was making.
Madonna – What It Feels Like For A Girl
Madonna is the undisputed queen of MTV bans. Many of her videos were deemed controversial due to their sexual content but the video directed by Guy Ritchie (her husband at the time) was actually banned for it’s violent content, the idea being that such a foray was a forbidden fantasy for girls (alliteritative bonus!). Seems like it was more than simply baiting controversy because even though the video was in fact violent, it wasn’t far more violent than a lot of other entertainment that was being aired around the same time.
Justice – Stress
This one’s a bit tricky, it wasn’t on TV but apparently not for reasons widely assumed. Various newspapers reported that Justice’s video was banned due to perceived racism. Half of the French duo Gaspard Augé denied this and later commented on it in an interview with The Quietus: “If people see racism in the video, it’s definitely because they might have a problem with racism; because they only see black people beating up white people, which is not what happens. The main thing we’ve learnt with this kind of experience is that the newspapers in France, even the most respected ones, are always hungry for juicy stuff. But if we were to do it again, we would do it exactly the same. It was kind of an experiment in making an un-broadcastable video for an un-broadcastable song, because we knew the song would never be played on the radio. It’s funny because some papers were saying we were banned from TV, but it was exactly the opposite: it was on the internet and then every music and TV channel called us to get the hi-res version to play on MTV and news programmes. We just said no.”