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MTV Clarifies Stance On Kanye West's "Monster" Video, Saying It's Not Been Banned

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 7, 2011 9:40PM

Kanye West Rules Britain's Mobo Awards Over the weekend,, an "online activism platform for social change" that allows its users to create online petitions the site then hosts, announced on its blog that MTV said it would "not air in its current form" Kanye West's video for "Monster," because of one of their petitions.

There's just one problem: MTV doesn't play videos in the first place. MTV, in a statement released to Hip-Hop DX and other media sites, says the video has not been banned. BUM BUM BUUMMMMMM.

Instead, MTV has clarified its stance, saying that the network "has been in constant communication with [West's label Roc-A-Fella] regarding this matter. However, we are still awaiting the edits we requested in order for the video to be suitable for broadcast." Which makes for an interesting development, considering Change cited MTV itself as its source.

So what was the fuss about to begin with?

The petition in question claims West's "Monster" video, an early version of which was leaked in December, "feeds a growing appetite for sexual violence, witnessed or committed, that is inevitably acted out on victims of sex trafficking and rape. It teaches men that women are nothing more than bodies, raw meat, to be devoured."

And how does it exactly do that? Let Change explain:

A leaked teaser and a behind the scenes video of Kanye West's "Monster" video show West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nikki Minaj surrounded by the corpses of lingerie-clad women. Women dangle from the ceiling by chains. A naked corpse, mouth open, lies on a couch behind Jay-Z. Ross chows down on a plate of raw meat placed between the legs of a female corpse lying prostrate on the table. Minaj doubles as a fanged dominatrix and her innocent victim. West, in bed with two scantily clad corpses, poses them in erotic positions and kisses one while stroking his face with her lifeless hand.

Indeed, it's an unsettling video, perhaps fitting for a song titled "Monster." Miles Raymer's piece in the Reader from a few months back dissected the video's more problematic themes, and we concur with his overall arguments.

Let us contribute this, however, to the conversation: MTV, a network that has spent nearly three decades of its existence commodifying women and their sexuality, then spitting them out when they're no longer of use, has now decided that it's squeamish about violence toward women. (Especially considering they infamously turned a blind eye to this?).

Better late than never, I guess.