Home / MTV BOWS TO PRESSURE: Welcome to Puritan America

MTV BOWS TO PRESSURE: Welcome to Puritan America

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And so it begins folks. Welcome to Puritan America.

I actually have the Britney video not because I like the song but because I like the video. (I have a thing for flashy videos even if I hate the song). I just watched that video again.

I have seen worse on daytime soaps.

MTV is a cable channel. If you don’t want your kids watching MTV then block it.

What has happened to you people? Are you all so sexually repressed that if you see a bit of skin, or someone making out, you feel violated? You have a lot of options- You can turn off the television, or not buy the product. As far as your kids are concerned, once again it goes back to if you had them then you need to spend the time monitoring them. There are some of us adults who live on this planet too and have every right to enjoy these things … which in my opinion aren’t even titillating.

Maybe I am the strange one. I don’t find porno arousing … it’s good fun. Good for a laugh, but I don’t get turned on. Half naked guys gyrating on stage do not turn me on. A woman shaving her legs in the tub does not turn me on. Seeing people in their underwear does not turn me on.

Actual human contact turns me on. Intelligence. A great smile. Ducatis and 70’s Jap bikes or BSAs, Nortons, Triumphs. (Riding Motorcycles is my number one weakness. I’ll take a cycle over a man any day.) The smell of leather. Champagne. Watching someone play an instrument for me Etc..

Britney gyrating around in a spangle unitard doesn’t make me want to go out and have sexual intercourse. I find what people actually type and say far more offensive than a video.

This place is becoming pedantic and pathetic.

MTV Consigns Racy Videos to Late-Night Rotation
Mon February 9, 2004 07:47 PM ET
By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In the aftermath of Janet Jackson’s controversial Super Bowl breast exposure, MTV has decided that pop tart Britney Spears may be a bit too “Toxic” for daytime tastes.

The music channel, which produced Jackson’s notorious halftime duet with Justin Timberlake, said on Monday it has moved six of its racier videos, including Spears’ video for her new single, “Toxic,” from daytime to late-night rotation.

Record labels for Spears and other artists whose videos were consigned to overnight programming — from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. — were informed of the move last week, a spokeswoman for the network said.

She denied that MTV was engaging in self-censorship or responding to pressure from its corporate parent, Viacom Inc.

“We always take into account what the cultural environment is on an ongoing basis,” the spokeswoman said. “Given the particular sensitivity in the culture right now, we’re erring on the side of caution for the immediate future.”

A Viacom spokesman likewise insisted the decision to remove some particularly edgy videos from daytime rotation, as first reported in the Los Angeles Times, originated from within MTV.

“All play lists are decided by the individual channels and we have nothing whatsoever to do with it,” Viacom spokesman Carl Folta said.

MTV’s decision also applies to offerings from alternative rock bands Blink 182 and Maroon 5 and the rap-rock outfit Incubus, whose video for the song “Megalomaniac” depicts an Adolf Hitler character with angel’s wings flying over a crowd.


In a statement issued by the band’s publicist, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger mocked MTV’s play-list alteration, saying, “It’s ironic that this MTV scrutiny comes from an incident where someone bared their chest in public, while for the first time, our singer has his shirt on for an entire video.”

Publicists for Spears’ label, Jive Records, could not immediately be reached for comment.

It was not the first time MTV has altered its play lists in the face of controversy. The network previously declined to premiere an R. Kelly video on its popular “Total Request Live” show in the aftermath of the R&B singer’s indictment on child pornography charges.

MTV’s quiet shuffling of its video rotation last week marks the latest instance of fallout from Jackson’s bosom-baring performance at the Super Bowl, which sparked a public uproar and the promise of an inquiry by federal regulators.
MTV, which produced the halftime extravaganza, has apologized for the Jackson episode and insisted the stunt was not part of the planned show. MTV’s sister broadcast network CBS, which aired the Feb. 1 Super Bowl telecast, reacted by implementing a five-minute delay for its broadcast a week later of the Grammy Awards.

CBS also demanded that Jackson and Timberlake, who ripped open Jackson’s Super Bowl costume to briefly reveal her right breast, apologize on air as a condition for appearing on the Grammy telecast as planned. Timberlake obliged, but Jackson opted out of the event altogether.

NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., last week edited out a brief glimpse of an elderly woman’s breast in an emergency room scene on the hit hospital drama “ER.”

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About Tek

  • bhw

    I think part of what happened is that MTV realized that a lot of parents saw a typical MTV production for the first time at the Super Bowl … and didn’t like it. Now they know what they’re latch-key kids are watching in the afternoons.

    I agree that the network should be free to do whatever type of programming it wants and let the individual viewers decide whether or not to watch. But reality is reality: if parents *do* start blocking out MTV en masse, then their advertising revenues will go down.

    It all boils down to money. Remember, MTV changed the air time of “Beavis and Butthead” years ago after a little kid watched the show — while unsupervised — and then set his house/apartment on fire. The cry was, “Why is this show on at 7 pm?” instead of “Why was this young boy watching this show?”

    That’s life. People prefer having a big brother control content than taking responsibility for what their kids watch.

  • bhw

    Whoops. Make that “their latch-key kids.”

  • Jonathan

    In a few weeks noone will care about ugly Janet’s breasticle.

  • Shark

    Last time I had the displeasure of watching MTV, I don’t think there was a “music video” on the whole time.

    It was more about game shows and reality shows than music.

    Maybe they’re altering their marketing plan because the entire music industry is about to go *bankrupt.

    *which is a good thing, IMO.

  • Shark

    Anyone around here a parent?

    re. disparaging implications about “latch-key kids”

    We live in a society whose stucture and economy don’t exactly encourage parents to raise healthy children.

    Few parents would CHOOSE to leave their children while working; it’s an economic necessity in today’s world, especially for the single parent.

    One answer to the “latch-key kid” is to encourage a society where support for parents is a priortity.

    And ironically, the FAMILY VALUES political party that wants to PRESERVE the “Sanctity” of Marriage probably does more harm than good in this regard.

    (minimum wages, health care, cuts in safety net programs, child-care, union-busting, etc etc.)

    NOTE: I’m not picking on anyone relative to the ‘latch key’ statement: just struck a nerve that makes my blood boil.


  • Well, that is because America has become the country where the profit is #1 and “family values” are #1 and somethings gotta give!

    When two parents have to work their asses off for fear of being fired, coming up with college money, etc, etc, there is no way for both of them to spend some old fashion quality time at home.

    People are spending less and less of their vacation time. When they do have it, they bring cell phones and laptops too! Why should they have to also worry what their kid watch, eat, do, etc…

    All parenting by proxy these days.

  • Chris Wilson

    I’m sorry Ms. Tek, but seeing a woman in her underwear turns me on. Call me weird, call me Ishmael, but don’t call me a pervert.

    As for MTV bowing to “Puritan Pressure,” they’re just running for cover after getting a bit too big for their bustiers…..Not to worry, they will be offending mature sensibilities all over again once the tide recedes….

  • Oi, I don’t call anyone a pervert until the goat, the midget, and whip cream shows up!

  • Eric Olsen

    When something BIG like the Super Bowl halftime show and subsequent reaction happens, and extra focus is put on the media, then the media is forced to recalibrate its placement regarding “community standards.” I think adults DO generally ignore and just turn the channel away from the stuff they don’t like or want to see, but when the spotlight is on a lot of people say “wow, this really is heinous shit and maybe something should be done about it,” and since thye don’t really want to deal with their own complicity in allowing kids to be exposed to such things as the typical MTV video, the onus is put on the programmers.

    I don’t see any of this as a bad thing, and may be a positive result from the Janet affair. I am not advocating knee jerk puritanism, but I thik it’s okay for adults, and parents in particular, to be forced to make decisions regarding the kinds of things their children are exposed to on a regular basis.

  • Well Eric, I don’t disagree with the adults making decisions for kids part.

    My objection is that I am too here. I am over 18. Don’t have kids. Don’t want kids. In my home, I should be able to turn on my Cable TV and enjoy “racier” programing if I choose. Some people work nights and during the day, they just want to watch some telly and not “tickle me Elmo”.

    Basically, when you make decisions like this, you are affecting more than just people with children or open religious tomes. I don’t think that is exactly fair when once again, I say fine… no titty on prime time, free, telly… but leave my cable alone! If you can’t program your VCR or child blocks, how is that my fault?

  • Shark

    Wilson: “…they’re just running for cover after getting a bit too big for their bustiers…”

    FINALLY! Somebody made ME LAUGH!!

    great line.

    Thanks Chris

  • It’s funny to me that this site has been accused of being Republican. Can I please point that out to those who accuse us of being a right-wing crazy site? I love the range of opinions here. I just want to make sure everyone notices that we DO have different sides covered.

    Anyway, I think this is just another move by MTV that makes them irrelevant. At one time they were the choice for generations of kids. Now that they have been around long enough, they are the unquestioned channel for a huge number of kids to watch in the afternoon. Their brand name is so strong that they can basically do whatever they want. I mean people watch the Road Rules and Real World all day and night. And the Osbournes, and Nick and Jessica. Losing Britney’s video won’t be a blip in all actuality.

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree that there should be a sliding scale for such things, but “basic” cable is pretty standard in most homes these days so that’s hardly different from broadcast.

    I am not trying to dictate a particular result, just saying it is not bad that people are forced into these kinds of decisions from time to time.

  • I have thought MTV has sucked for a very long time… since I was in high school and that was…
    *looks around, mumbles, clears throat* longer ago than many may realize. I used to just stay up to watch 120 mins on Sunday nights.

    Then M2 came out… and for a while there, it was totally awesome. I LOVED that channel! Then they bought the box or something and they started to suck too. Much Music which became fuse I think was okay for a bit too… then it became all metal, goth, headbanger, stupid crap.

    I love watching the music stations in Germany and France. The music station in Tiwan is a trip.

    At least you get to see music and stuff that is not always at the top of the American and Euro charts.

  • bhw

    Anyone around here a parent?

    re. disparaging implications about “latch-key kids”

    Yeah, I’m a parent, and I didn’t intend to the disparaging implications. My point was that parents don’t want to take the responsibility for what their kids watch [or listen to, whatever]. They’d rather have the network [or the FCC] block the content than block it themselves, even though we have the technology now.

    My mother, now in her mid sixties, was a latch-key kid at a time when almost nobody else’s mother worked. [I guess I don’t see it as a negative term, but maybe I’m not tuned in to how other’s perceive it.] My grandmother had to work because my grandfather died suddenly. I *know* that it’s a necessity for some people to work and leave their kids unattended. But it doesn’t absolve them of their parental responsibility.

    I also think most of MTV’s programming sucks and that for the content they create, they probably ought to be a pay channel.

    Now, about the political party that proclaims to be the “family values” party, I’m with you 100%. It’s all marketing and no substance.