MTV Censorship of Guns

I just saw something flash by me on Twitter about MTV censoring the word bullet in a song. I couldn’t believe it. Seriously, the word bullet? I mean Jersey Shore does more cultural damage to the world than any use of the word bullet.

Anyway, Google is my friend and they directed me to a nice little profile of captured MTV censorship of key words in various songs. Turns out that the word gun is regularly censored from songs.

In fact, even the NY Daily News, hardly a friend to the gun culture, ran a column on the absurdity of this censorship in one recent video:

In this case, they might have been a little fast on the trigger.

Not complaining, mind you, but Rihanna sings about sex and how chains and whips excite her and that’s just fine with the censor gods. Yet Foster the People’s gun references get shot down.

In the middle of the day, the main MTV channel airs commercials for Trojan condoms – during a telecast of “16 and Pregnant,” of course – and that’s okay.

They note the edited version ran at night during content aimed for college students. Because even though MTV will celebrate teen pregnancy during the day when kids are more likely to be in front of the tv, they feel they must protect the delicate ears of adults who are old enough to vote, buy tobacco, drink a beer, and even purchase their own guns from such evil words.

17 Responses to “MTV Censorship of Guns”

  1. Yes, because talking about casual sex or drugs won’t encourage anyone to do those things, but talk about b*****s or g**s will turn them into homicidal killers!

  2. j t bolt says:

    They’ve been doing that since Columbine.

  3. Bitter says:

    Heh. That just goes to show how little I pay attention to MTV.

  4. David says:

    When did MTV start showing music videos again?

  5. Mobo says:

    It’s silly, but hey, it’s their station and they can do what they (and their advertisers) want.

  6. Mark Steele says:

    What is MTV?!?!

  7. Bram says:

    Can they still run Metallica “One”? Will the edit the gunfire opening? Is the word “landmine” removed?

    What a bunch of PC sissies.

    I bet a network could launch a successful music channel today that played rock music and concerts unedited (and nothing else). I would watch – and it would sound a lot better now that MTV did out of my parents old box TV.

  8. Sam P says:

    I suspect altering videos in the ways described in the Wikipedia article would be creating a derivative work, which is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder (with the exception of fair use)–I also suspect the music companies would gladly give that permission, as the main point here is to promote albums sales through exposure, and no video on tv=no eyes and ears.

  9. Prophet says:

    In Pittsburgh, either 92.6 or 96.1 also blank out guns and bullets from Pumped Up Kicks. I was driving around sunday and the song was on 3 channels at once. 2 undedited and the one with the blanks. Absolutely ridiculous..

  10. Jeff says:

    I heard the same censorship on the radio the other day and I couldn’t believe it.

    As an aside, 16 and Pregnant is horrible, but airing condom commercials during it seems absolutely appropriate.

  11. Phil says:

    Look on the bright side. Bleeping out any word accentuates it, and if anything. pounds it into the mind that much deeper, because you have to say it for yourself. (Do you think people who listen to MTV don’t already know all the lyrics?) So, they are probably adding a little spice to the whole gun/bullet concept.

    The whole subject is just too silly, to get upset about the hypocrisy of what gets censored.

  12. Justin Buist says:

    The censorship doesn’t surprise me. I’d expect that when you write a song that seems to reference school shootings.

    Why anybody would write a catchy pop tune with a chorus of:

    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you’d better run, better run, outrun my gun.

    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

    Well, I just don’t get it. I can’t listen to it without thinking of school shootings which doesn’t exactly give me the warm fuzzy feeling that the melody does. I just don’t like it.

    • Bitter says:

      I honestly didn’t know what the song was about. But, from the accounts on Wikipedia, this isn’t the first time they have targeted these words. If they are that concerned about the content of the song, it would seem that simply not playing the video would do far more good than just bleeping out a word or two.

  13. Diomed says:

    MTV’s not the only one who does it.

  14. Chas says:

    MTV provides the music for the criminal drug trade, so, for political reasons, so that they can continue to do that, they have to respect certain conventions, otherwise their support for murderous gangbangers would be too obvious, and thus become less lucrative for them. It’s all about keeping the money flowing with MTV.

  15. vanderleun says:

    Well I guess John Lennon’s “Happiness is a Warm Gun” is out of rotation.

  16. Libertarian says:

    They’ve changed song titles as well. Turned Shinedown’s “45” into “Staring Down.”

    Bunch of wussies.


  1. SayUncle » Censorship - [...] Of the word ‘gun’ at MTV. Been doing that for years. [...]