Music videos are such an important part of the music industry. They set the tone for how the song is received by the audience. For instance, who hasn’t seen Kanye’s music video for Bound 2 featuring Kim Kardashian and laughed? I know I can’t listen to that song without seeing Kim backwards on a motorcycle in my mind. Miley Cyrus is just the most obvious example when talking about controversial music videos. Her wardrobe, or lack thereof, in her recent videos has sparked countless discussions about the artist.
Katy Perry just came out with the music video for her song ‘Dark Horse’ and it went online about a week ago. It depicts Katy Perry as a Cleopatra-like queen. Various suitors come up to her and present gifts for her approval. She burns anyone who doesn’t please her. One of the men is wearing a pendant that spells “Allah” (God) in Arabic.
Shazad Iqbal was the original viewer to complain about the video. He claimed that the image of. a man wearing the word “Allah” was Katy Perry’s insult to God. Iqbal demanded that the video be taken down. To achieve his goal, he started an online petition. In just a few days, the petition obtained more than 60,000 supporters. The controversy also gained attention on Twitter, with followers taking both sides of the disagreement. Some proclaimed that Katy Perry was intending to insult with the video, while others saw the whole thing as an overreaction because they believed that the artist never meant to offend anymore
Katy Perry and her team responded by replacing the video with a replication that has just a small modification: the pendant in question was removed through retouching software. When asked about the situation Katy Perry maintained that the video was not mean to be offensive, that she was “just trying to give a beautiful performance about a place I have so much love for … with no other thought besides it.”
How likely is it that Katy Perry really was trying to be offensive? I think it is more likely that the Arabic word simply fit in with the costume theme and no one bothered to check the meaning. One thing is for sure: music videos are supposed to get hype for the song and Katy Perry’s Dark Horse video definitely got people talking.
Johnson, B. (2014, February 27). ‘blasphemous’ bit erased from katy perry’s ‘dark horse’ clip following internet outcry. Yahoo Music, Retrieved from http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/music-news/playing-with-magic-backfires-on-katy-perry-s–dark-horse–video-183042137.html