Top 8 most controversial music videos of all time
Published 23/06/2014 | 16:03
As Lady Gaga's music video with R Kelly and Terry Richardson is scrapped and branded an "ad for rape", we check out the top eight most controversial music videos.
Gaga's 'Do What U Want' video, which was leaked to TMZ last week, drew criticism for one scene which appeared to condone rape.
Singer R Kelly plays Gaga's sinister doctor in video and in the scene in question he tells her, “I’m putting you under, and when you wake up, you’re going to be pregnant.”
He is then seen reaching under Gaga’s hospital sheets and says, “sounds like that medicine’s starting to kick in”, before she passes out on the operating table.
Controverisal director Terry Richardson helmed the video, having previously directed Miley Cyrus' infamous 'Wrecking Ball' video.
Richardson has faced claims from some models he has worked with that he allegedly coerced them into having sex during shoots, but Richardson denies the allegations.
Gaga's choice of collaborators has raised eyebrows given that R Kelly was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
A source told the New York Post's Page Six: “Gaga had a video directed by an alleged sexual predator, starring another sexual predator. With the theme, ‘I’m going to do whatever I want with your body’? It was literally an ad for rape.”
'Do What U Want' was not the first and certainly won't be the last music video to cause a stir. Here are our top ten of all time...
'Blurred Lines' by Robin Thicke
Just last year Robin Thicke's video for his single 'Blurred Lines' drew criticism for featuring nude models gyrating with a fully-clothed Thicke. There were two versions of the video - one with topless models and the second with the nudity obscured. The topless version was removed from YouTube but later returned, flagged as inappropriate. The song's lyrics have been interpreted by some groups as promoting date rape, but Thicke has refuted these claims. Despite the controversy, or perhaps becuase of it, 'Blurrred LInes' became the best-selling song of 2013 in the UK and became the most downloaded song in UK chart history.
'Lemon Incest' by Serge Gainsbourg
The title alone was enough to push boundaries but the accompanying video for the single, a duet with Gainsbourg's 12-year-old daughter Charlotte, caused a storm of controversy. 'Lemon Incest' depicted father and daughter in bed whilst Charlotte sang about "the most beautiful, the most violent, the most pure, the most heady" love that they would never make together. The song featured on the 1984 album 'Love on the Beat.'
'Smack My B**** Up' by Prodigy
Prodigy game under fire for 'Smack My Bitch Up' which The National Organization for Women (NOW) in the US deemed violent and derogatory towards women. MTV banned the video which was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, the former drummer for the black metal band Bathory, although they did air it late night with another controverisal video also released in 1997 - 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails.
'Born Free' by M.I.A.
A genocide against red-heads was the subject of this nine-minute video, which was inspired by the killing of Tamil men by the Sri Lankan Army, filmed on mobile phones in Sri Lanka. Although critics praised the artist's take on military force, the video also caused controversy due to the explicit nature of the content. It was banned from YouTube.
'Like A Prayer' by Madonna
Madonna's 1989 'Like a Prayer' video, directed by Mary Lambert, featured religious iconography, burning crosses, and the murder of a black girl by white supremacists. It so enraged the Vatican that the Pope banned the star from performiing Italy. Madonna also subsequently lost her contract with Pepsi after objections to the song featuring in a Pepsi ad.
'Me So Horny' by 2 Live Crew
In the same year Madonna was dancing around burning crosses 2 Live Crew were garnering criticism for their vidoe for 'Me So Horny,' as much for the explicit lyrics as the g-string clad dancing women. The album, 'As Nasty As They Wanna Be' was one of the first to earn a 'Parental Avdisoy' sticker and this particular track was banned in Florda and led to the group being prosecuted on obscenity charges. However, the case was overturned. Album sales sky-rocketed and the single stayed on the US Billboard Hot 100 for 30 weeks.
'Heart Shaped Box' by Nirvana
Dutch filmmaker Anton Corbijn directed 'Heart Shaped Box,' the first single from the band's third studio album 'In Utero.' If the Ku Klux Klan, drug and Christian symbolism wasn't enough to garner negative reaction, the depiction of unborn babies hanging from trees was guaranteed to sound its death knell. Or not - the video actually won several awards, including Best Alternative Video at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards.
'Jeremy' by Pearl Jam
Touching on the delicate subject of teenage suicide, 'Jeremy' was inspired by a newspaper article about a 15-year-old boy named Jeremy Wade Delle from Texas who shot himself in front of his teacher and 30 classmates in January 1991. The unedited version of the video includes the disturbing image of Jeremy shooting himself in front of his classmates, and the last frame shows his classmates covered in his blood. However, the edited version omits the scene of Jeremy putting the gun in his mouth which led to some viewers believing Jeremy had shot his classmates, a source of frustration to the video's director Mark Pellington. The video won four MTV Video Music Awards in 1993.
Watch the censored version here: