MTV Rethinking War Clips

Videos by System and OutKast deemed possibly insensitive


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."