UK advocacy groups join forces against sexualised Music videos

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Sexually provocative music videos under fire

Pressure on the entertainment industry has mounted in the past few days as advocacy groups prepare a nationwide campaign to tackle sexually charged pop videos.

A highly controversial performance at this year’s VMA’s by American pop star Miley Cyrus set off an explosive response from parent groups, and has since ignited a furious debate in the UK on how music video performances are affecting young teenagers.

With the current pop culture of sexually charged acts, and scantily clad women in music videos, are we at a point where we need to tone down the sex? As audiences have almost unlimited access to content online with little to no censorship or watersheds, it’s very easy to access sexually explicit content on website such as Youtube, which has replaced MTV as the distribution platform for music video content. Filmmakers and artists are able to go further with their visual ideas, but there is concern that commercial pop stars in particular are going too far to sell their images.

Sex has been used for decades as a marketing tool in the music industry and elsewhere, but when there is little oversight or regulation on performances, does this cause an issue for parents with younger children and the image of women in the media? What about the younger fans of these artists who look up to acts like Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Nicky Minaj or Lady Gaga?

Siobhan Freegard, Founder of Netmums recently spoke out about music video content and how there is a collective sentiment that sexual imagery has gone too far.

“There’s a strong feeling that things have gone too far now. It’s toxic to tell young kids casual sex and violence are something to aspire to.”

BBC Report

The UK parenting organisation, which has 1.2 million members conducted a survey that showed 82% of parents had found that their children were repeating sexualised movements depicted in music videos, and repeating lyrics without knowing their meaning.

The Guardian reports that a new campaign will be launched tomorrow by the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Object, and Imkaan, to challenge the “racism and sexism in music videos..” The Rewind & Reframe campaign will give young women a place to discuss the issues through blogs and help educate them on current attitudes and how to challenge them.

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With UK advocacy groups making a loud chorus for change in the entertainment industry, and strong opposition in the US by organisations such as the Parent’s Television Council, is this the beginning of a transatlantic push to define a new rating system for music videos?

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