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MTV Rethinking War Clips

Videos by System and OutKast deemed possibly insensitive

March 26, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Citing "heightened public sensitivity" because of the war in Iraq, MTV Europe is avoiding videos and programs deemed "offensive to public feeling." A network memo written by Broadcast Standards Manager Mark Sunderland recommends a temporary embargo of videos that depict, "war, soldiers, war planes, bombs, missiles, riots and social unrest, executions [and] other obviously sensitive material."

Among the videos the memo mentions are OutKast's "B.O.B," which stands for "Bombs over Baghdad," System of a Down's "Boom!," which contains war-protest footage, and anything by the B-52's, because the band's name is also a type of bomber plane.

Other videos on the list of examples include Aerosmith's "Don't Want to Miss a Thing," which contains footage from the movie Armageddon, Bon Jovi's "This Ain't a Love Song," and Radiohead's "Lucky."

"It's not a ban," says a spokesman for MTV's international divisions. "It didn't come from programming. We're complying with ITC guidelines on good taste, to avoid offending public feeling." ITC is a communications regulatory board based in Britain.

According to a spokesman for MTV USA, the memo doesn't apply in the United States. "We're not banning anything," he says. "We're being sensitive to the situation, in general and on a case-by-case basis."

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