As MTV itself noted: “It brought music to more places and more faces than ever before.” There were 5 music videos in the past decades that were strictly banned from their signal. Do you want to know why? Well, let the polemic begin, and check out the list below!
1 – Duran Duran – Girls On Film (1981)
Directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, formerly of 10cc, this video for Duran’s third single was a soft-porn fest, all pole dancing, pillow fights, spurting Champagne, mud-wrestling, fetish nurses and cowgirls, plus an oily massage – and that was just the edited version. The six-minute unexpurgated ‘Uncensored Night Version’ that got the ban featured full-on nudity.
Shot at the Seventh Veil strip club in Hollywood, this raunchy tribute to sex, motorbikes and alcohol (oh, and poodle perms) marked the band’s commercial peak and while it was banned by MTV – for nudity, again – it hardly impacted on them commercially. Actually, it could have been a bit more hardcore: the band initially wanted to do the shoot at the infamously all-nude Body Shop strip club.
Arguably the most controversial music video of all time, this story of a black man wrongly accused of murdering a child conflated sex and religion and was condemned by the Vatican. It also saw Madonna’s Pepsi ad axed, but won her the MTV Viewer’s Choice Award. For the 25th anniversary of MTV, viewers voted it the Most Groundbreaking Music Video Of All Time.
This first-person perspective view of a debauched night out in London contains scenes of drinking and driving, cocaine use, violence, vandalism, vomiting and sex. It was relegated to after-midnight viewing on MTV (preceded by a disclaimer), but this didn’t exactly harm The Prodigy’s progress: at the VMAs of 1998, the band was nominated for four awards and won two, including Breakthrough Video.
The sexual content of this clip, directed by David LaChapelle, caused it to be marginalised from the MTV playlists, due to its depiction of life on the road including such activities as picking up prostitutes, calling chatlines, quantities of masturbation, and having sex in a bathtub. It all sits rather strangely with the song itself, which is quite sweet. Anyway, lord knows what dad Julio made of it.