Annie Lennox calls for pop video ratings

Annie Lennox Annie Lennox said she was 'disturbed and dismayed' by the way female performers presented themselves

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Pop star Annie Lennox has described the sexualised imagery of modern pop videos as "dark" and "pornographic".

"I'm all for freedom of expression," she told BBC Radio 5 live, "but this is clearly one step beyond, and it's clearly into the realm of porn."

"How do you stop your kids being exposed to it? It's so powerful. You don't want to see your seven-year-old girls twerking all over the place."

The singer has called for pop videos to be rated in the same way as films.

She previously wrote on her Facebook page that if a pop star created "a soft porn video or highly sexualised live performance, then it needs to qualify as such and be X-rated for adults only".

She told 5 live pressure from parents could help to establish "very clear boundaries" on acceptable standards in videos.

Her comments fuelled a debate started by Miley Cyrus's performance at the MTV awards last month, in which she danced provocatively with singer Robin Thicke and made suggestive gestures with a foam finger.

That performance, and a similarly risque video for her single Wrecking Ball, prompted Sinead O'Connor to write an open letter to the pop star, warning her not to be exploited by the music business.

Rihanna, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus Rihanna, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus have all been criticised for risque performances and videos

Artists such as Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and Rihanna have also been criticised for explicit performances and costumes in the past.

Lennox did not single out any one performer for criticism - referring instead to a "recent spate of overtly sexualised performances and videos" in her Facebook statement.

"I have nothing against these artists," she told 5 live's Anna Foster. "I was never bashing them.

"There's nothing wrong with sexuality and sensuality and I think these artists are beautiful. And, in many ways, what they do is fantastic, but it needs to be age-appropriate.

Eurythmics backstage at Top Of The Pops in 1983 Lennox first found fame with 80s synth-pop pioneers Eurythmics

"These guys have young fan bases and they are being barraged with it.

"I don't think there's one parent of young boys and girls in this country that would honestly, comfortably say they were fine with seeing their kids being exposed to that kind of thing."

"I think this debate is about getting the voice of reason back there to say 'look, we want to protect our kids.'"


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    Comment number 168.

    I agree with Annie Lennox. Some of the stuff I have seen in music vids are at the same level as porn. This is nothing to do with kids trying to shock adults with sex but to do with the simple fact that sex sells. A lot of people will watch the videos, not because they like the song, but because they want to get turned on. Nothing artistic about it and your children are being exposed to it. Think!

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    Our society is being invaded on all fronts by "trickle down" porn. Porn is fine in its place, but people should be given a choice about whether they want to view sexually suggestive material, not for it to become the norm.

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    Comment number 146.

    I'd just like to point out that the biggest difference between older pop performances and the current generation is that before it was male performers taking their shirts off and behaving lewdly, now it's female performers doing it. Although I believe all media should be rated, I do think that some of the judgement being wrought is related to gender.

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    Comment number 130.

    Its called freedom of expression i think !! Artist liscence depends on how you mind works i guess you read into it what you will personally Id far rather see this than other things which are quite public these days ( Its stock standard british humour ) designed to be funny thats if your not too serious about life Obviously havent listenend to Marion Faithfull early stuff then ?? Im roaring

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    The Doors - Come on Baby Light My Fire. Just as pornographic as anything we see today. Nothing has changed in Rock and Pop in that regard ever since Chuck Berry asked you to play with his ding-a-ling.


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