Following the release of Britney Spears‘ new “Make Me” video on Friday, news broke that an alternate first version had reportedly been scrapped for being overly sexual. But when it comes to music videos, this is far from the first time that something like this has happened.
With “Make Me,” a public outcry followed and fans launched a petition — which to date has nearly 15,000 signatures — to see the original version directed by David LaChapelle. But the attention this is receiving is an exception. More often, scrapped videos are destined to simply fade away with hardly any notice.
According to sources, it was not the “Make Me” video’s racy content that was to blame, but that the LaChappelle video didn’t meet the standards of Spears’ team. And while scrapping videos is certainly not preferred by anyone involved, it’s not uncommon that artists will scrap music video for a variety of reasons, from avoiding possible controversy to scheduling conflicts to artistic differences and more. Here are five notable examples:
Britney Spears, “Make Me”
When TMZ reported about the LaChappelle-helmed first version of Spears’ “Make Me” video, the website said the director’s camp claimed it was too sexy. Meanwhile, Spears sources said the piece was pointless with no story line. Either way, the official version directed by Randee St. Nicholas was clearly more in line with the pop star’s camp:
Lady Gaga, “Do What U Want” feat. R. Kelly
Lady Gaga‘s “Do What U Want” video had a lot of big names attached to it, starring featured artist R. Kelly and directed by photographer Terry Richardson. The problem may have been, though, they were the wrong kind of names. The video ultimately never saw the light of day in full form, possibly due to heightened sexual harassment allegations against Richardson and Kelly’s past rape and child pornography charges amidst the video’s sexual — some have said rape-like — themes. See the leaked footage here:
Chris Brown, “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” feat. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande had been all set to appear on Chris Brown‘s X single “Don’t Be Gone Too Long,” with promotional efforts under way and a completed music video, until legal issues arose for Brown that pushed back the release date. The track was finally released but without Grande on it. Fans speculated it was because Grande didn’t want to tarnish her image with Brown’s problems, while Brown later blamed timing issues with Grande’s own music and label disputes. The video was eventually leaked; watch it here:
Blink-182, “Stay Together for the Kids”
Blink-182 began filming their video for “Stay Together for the Kids” on Sept. 10, 2001. The next day, everything changed with the 9/11 terrorist attacks that hit America. Ultimately the band decided their concept for the video — which literally interpreted the term “broken home” with a wrecking ball and other mayhem — was too close to the troubling images on television at the time. They reshot the video, avoiding any unnecessary similarities. Watch footage of the original video with the band’s explanation here:
Kanye West, “Robocop”
It seems Kanye West was into exposing his personal life on camera long before he hooked up with Kim Kardashian. The rapper had shot a video with director Hype Williams for “RoboCop” off his emotional Auto-Tune-heavy 2008 album 808s and Heartbreak, but for unclear reasons it never saw the light of day until 2014 when a CG modeler involved in the production leaked about 13 seconds of footage on his Instagram account. The clip shows West in a tuxedo opposite a robotic Barbie-like figure of his his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose. The post has since been deleted but the footage lives on here: