Yesterday, M.I.A.'s new music video for "Born Free" whipped up a huge frenzy for its terrifying portrayal of a paranoid police state, including violent arrests and a brutal execution. Now the video's been pulled from YouTube in the U.S. and the UK. A YouTube rep told BBC:
On YouTube the rules prohibit content like pornography or gratuitous violence. If the content breaks our terms then we remove it and if a user repeatedly breaks the rules we disable their account.
You can still watch the video on M.I.A.'s website.
My take on the video?
Yeah, it's fucking horrifying - I probably couldn't watch it a second time - it made my skin crawl and is staying with me in ways that most movies I see can't. But I don't find the violence to be gratuitous. M.I.A.'s never pretended to be anything less than radical; she's never shied away from shock value. She comes from a world where persecution and terrorism are the norm, and from day one that's been the world she's tried to portray through her music.
P.S. Do you guys remember the Justice video for "Stress'? It shouldn't come as a surprise that that clip shares a director with "Born Free" - the French incendiary Romain Gavras.