Entertainment & Arts

Annie Lennox calls for pop video ratings

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

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".

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Media captionAnnie Lennox: "What is really required is clear boundaries... I am sure that I talk for millions of parents"

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.

Image caption 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.

Image caption 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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