Jared Leto and his arena rock outfit 30 Seconds to Mars have always produced cinematic music videos that strive to push the envelope, but this time they may have pushed too far. The band released a 13-minute video for its song, "Hurricane," to MTV yesterday (Nov. 29) only to be informed that the video would not be suitable for airing.
Leto, never being one to take these matters lightly, took to the blog on his own official website to address the grievances MTV had with his newest piece of artwork. The frontman posted "one of several" letters the band had received from television networks explaining why the "Hurricane" clip was too graphic to be played on television. In all, the letter contains more than 40 stop points that warrant censoring before the video can be aired before 7 p.m.
The majority of the complaints explained why the video would have to be played after certain hours -- the violent scenes forcing a post 7 p.m. airtime and the more sexually explicit scenes pushing the video past a 10 p.m. airtime. However, the image of one woman stroking another woman's private parts and fingering her over leather panties makes the video unable to be aired during any time slot, according to the letters posted by Leto.
Video: 30 Seconds to Mars, "Hurricane"
For the first three minutes of the video, audiences will be confused what all the fuss is about. Up until that point it looks like any other 30 Seconds to Mars dream-like, "Inception"-esque concept, then comes the first flashing image of a leather-bound person in a sexually provocative position.
Things continue to get dicey when Leto puts an eye mask on a scantily-clad brunette in his bed, and then gags her with a rubber bondage toy. He's not violent about it, and she doesn't seem to be protesting, but it's not something you want to see small children watching. Some may say this part is no more scandalous than, say, Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" video.
It is not until seven minutes in, when chapter two of the three-part story begins, that the reason for concern becomes apparent. Every few moments there's another topless female and the storyline is continuously interrupted with flashes of violent S&M imagery and sexually explicit content. It's difficult to conceptualize the point of these graphic images, considering they're flashing too quickly for anyone to understand their purpose. No, this is definitely not one for the kids.
What does seem senseless is the claims of violence the anonymous network executive calls attention to. At one point, drummer Shannon Leto skids across gravel on his motorcycle. There's no blood and no one is even remotely hurt, yet the scene warrants the video to be played after 7 p.m. The same can be said for the "Matrix"-like fight sequence towards the end.
While it's understandable that no one wants children to recreate these sequences, it's hard to follow the logic that says these scenes are any more violent or explicit than an episode of "The Jersey Shore," which air at all hours of the day.
What do you think of "Hurricane"? Should networks play it? How much should it be modified for it to be suitable on TV? Tell us in the comments!