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Montreal Jazz Festival censors the show SLAV...

In an equal world, everybody would have the same rights to sing a song, but not in the discriminatory world of political correctness

Link Here 8th July 2018
The Montreal International Jazz Festival has explained its decision to censor a show featuring a white woman singing songs composed by black slaves.

Festival CEO Jacques-Andre Dupont said the decision to abruptly cancel SLAV partway through its run was made for a mix of technical and human reasons, including security concerns raised by the escalating vitriol surrounding the show. He also said that the show's star, Betty Bonifassi, had broken her ankle and indicated she was no longer able to continue.

He said that while many protesters were peaceful, the festival and the theatre where the show was performed were concerned by the aggression of some protesters and the rising division and anger surrounding the show. He said Bonifassi's decision to not continue was prompted both by her injury and the criticism.

Dupont said the festival and the production company would absorb what he said would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses associated with cancelling the show, including paying the performers.

SLAV, one of the hottest tickets at this year's jazz festival, was the subject of protests claiming 'cultural appropriation' of black culture and history. It was described as a theatrical odyssey based on slave songs and a journey through traditional Afro-American songs, from cotton fields to construction sites, railroads, from slave songs to prison songs.

Black activists denounced the show and its mostly-white cast, and U.S. musician Moses Sumney cancelled a gig at the festival in protest.

Amid a storm of international media attention, the festival announced Wednesday it was cancelling the remaining performances and apologizing to anybody who had been hurt.

The renowned Quebec playwright Robert Lepage who directed the show criticized the decision to cancel it, calling it a direct blow to artistic freedom. He said in a statement that actors pretending to be someone else is at the very heart of theatre:

When we are no longer allowed to step into someone else's shoes, when it is forbidden to identify with someone else, theatre is denied its very nature, it is prevented from performing its primary function and is thus rendered meaningless.

 

 

Gangbangs and banned gangs...

Pornhub extends its scope to the unlikely genre of banned drill music

Link Here 2nd July 2018
Full story: Drill Music...Drill music videos banned by UK police
The war on drill rages on. Some of its most popular videos have been banned from YouTube. 1011, a prominent rap group, is now banned from making music with any mention of death or injury, and must inform police about all upcoming videos and shows.

In June, the police gained a court order that effectively bans drill music being made without their permission. However, even if YouTube has deemed the genre as too explicit or dangerous, it's not too explicit for Pornhub, where some drill videos are now being uploaded.

DJ and presenter Tim Westwood's broadcasting of drill artists is turning up on Pornhub. His Crib Sessions with BSIDE , 1011 , and Zone have appeared on the adult film site, after being pulled down from YouTube, alongside a host of 1011's music videos which made their way onto the site over the weekend.

 

 

All fired up...

German rappers escape prosecution for lyrics containing trivial references to the Holocaust

Link Here 18th June 2018
Award winning rappers Farid Bang and Kollegah will not face prosecution over lyrics that referenced Auschwitz and the Holocaust .

A few people were offended  when Kollegah and Farid Bang compared their bodies with those of Auschwitz prisoners, and also by a suggestion that they were doing another Holocaust.

However, prosecutors have said their artistic freedom was guaranteed by the constitution, and while the rap lyrics were deemed offensive, they did not amount to Holocaust denial or incitement of violence.

Dusseldorf prosecutor's office spokesman Ralf Herrenbruck told German media that while the words may have been vulgar, misogynistic and homophobic, it would not be possible to bring charges, saying it was neither an endorsement nor a trivialisation of the Nazi regime and its genocide. A statement explained:

The comparison of a concentration camp inmate with their own body may be tasteless, but it does not represent denial of the Holocaust.

The two 'offending' lines from their latest album J BG3 (Young, brutal, good looking 3).

  • One track includes the words: My body is more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates.
  • Another has the lyric: I'm doing another Holocaust, coming with the Molotov.

 

 

Weapons drill...

Court bans London gang from producing drill music video featuring violence

Link Here 16th June 2018
Full story: Drill Music...Drill music videos banned by UK police
Five gang members caught with machetes and baseball bats have been banned from making drill music glorifying violence.

Members of the 1011 gang were jailed or detained for conspiracy to commit violent disorder, in Notting Hill.

The Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs), thought to be the first of their kind, bans the group from mentioning death or injury in songs or on social media. Three leaders will also be required to inform police of new music videos and upcoming performances.

Recorder Ann Mulligan at Kingston Crown Court issued the three-year CBOs, following an application by the Metropolitan Police's Trident gang unit.

Mic, a rapper and producer form north London, said the order sets an ugly precedent. He said:

There is a censorship problem in the country. There are a lot of young musicians in this country whose only outlet for expressing themselves is music. It might be violent but what do you expect in the Britain we're in right now?

 

 

Wild Thoughts...

Turkey's TV censor fines radio stations for broadcasting a Rhianna song

Link Here 11th June 2018

Turkey's state media censor, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), fined two music stations last week over what it deemed explicit content in the lyrics of the song Wild Thoughts by American musician DJ Khaled and singer Rihanna as well as Sex, Love & Water by Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren.

According to Hürriyet daily columnist Cengiz Semercioglu, Turkish music stations have been cutting or censoring foreign music videos, including sexy dance scenes, for a long time now. However, this is the first time that RTÜK has decided to issue fines over the English lyrics. To understand them, one has to know English very well, Semercioglu added. The most obviously censorable lines from Willd Thoughts are:

Ayy, I heard that pussy for the taking
I heard it got these other niggas goin' crazy
Yeah I treat you like a lady, lady
Fuck you 'til you're burned out, cremation
Make it cream, yeah, Wu-Tang
Throw that ass back, bouquet
Call me and I can get it juicy

Semercioglu also said since RTÜK has started to issue fines over lyrics, TV and radio stations might not be able to find any songs to play and might even have to drop several movies from their lineup in order to avoid fines.

Last week, police arrested a Turkish rapper known as Ezhel for lyrics in his songs that "promoted drug use." Prosecutors were asking for up to 10 years in prison for the artist, whose real name is Ömer Sercan Ipekcioglu since the Prime Ministry was receiving complaints about his videos on YouTube, the state agency wrote.

 

 

Sound judgement...

Spotify reverses censorship based on artist controversy

Link Here 5th June 2018
Spotify recently shared a new policy around hate content and conduct. And while we believe our intentions were good, the language was too vague, we created confusion and concern, and didn't spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines.

It's important to note that our policy had two parts. The first was related to promotional decisions in the rare cases of the most extreme artist controversies. As some have pointed out, this language was vague and left too many elements open to interpretation. We created concern that an allegation might affect artists' chances of landing on a Spotify playlist and negatively impact their future. Some artists even worried that mistakes made in their youth would be used against them.

That's not what Spotify is about. We don't aim to play judge and jury. We aim to connect artists and fans 203 and Spotify playlists are a big part of how we do that. Our playlist editors are deeply rooted in their respective cultures, and their decisions focus on what music will positively resonate with their listeners. That can vary greatly from culture to culture, and playlist to playlist. Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.

The second part of our policy addressed hate content. Spotify does not permit content whose principal purpose is to incite hatred or violence against people because of their race, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. As we've done before, we will remove content that violates that standard. We're not talking about offensive, explicit, or vulgar content 203 we're talking about hate speech.

We will continue to seek ways to impact the greater good and further the industry we all care so much about. We believe Spotify has an opportunity to help push the broader music community forward through conversation, collaboration and action. We're committed to working across the artist and advocacy communities to help achieve that.

 

 

ASA snarls...

Complaints rejected about a music poster for Don Broco's album Technology

Link Here 30th May 2018

A poster for Don Broco's album Technology , seen in February 2018, included an image of a figure in the style of a religious icon, with the face replaced by a snarling dog.

Two complainants, who believed the image to be of the Virgin Mary, objected that the ad would cause serious offence to Christians.

Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

Exterion Media (UK) Ltd did not believe the ad would cause serious or widespread offence to the public, particularly in the context of the product being advertised.

The ASA was concerned by Sony's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code rule (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA understood that the image in the ad was reminiscent of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, a revered icon of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic Christian faith, although it was not an alteration of a specific image. We acknowledged that some members of the Christian faith would object to the use of the image in an ad, and in particular the replacement of the face with a snarling dog. However, we considered that it was clear the ad was for an album and that the image was being presented as artwork in that context. We also considered that the image would not be seen as mocking or derogatory towards the Madonna or Christian faith in general, and there was nothing else within the ad which gave that impression. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

 

Police drill...

Metropolitan police are getting YouTube music videos taken down that depict gangs and threats

Link Here 29th May 2018
Full story: Drill Music...Drill music videos banned by UK police
UK police are drilling down on a genre of rap music that they claim is driving rising knife and gun crime in London.

YouTube has deleted about 30 of 50-60 targeted by the Metropolitan Police in a dedicated operation against drill music, which originated in Chicago and has become increasingly popular in Britain.

Senior officers say the videos, which frequently contain graphic threats and gun signs, glamourise violence. Detective Superintendent Mike West said the number of videos that incite violence have been increasing since late 2015.

The gangs try to outrival each other with the filming and content -- what looks like a music video can actually contain explicit language with gangs threatening each other, he added. There are gestures of violence, with hand signals suggesting they are firing weapons and graphic descriptions of what they would do to each other.

Scotland Yard has compiled a central database of more than 1,400 indexed videos that are used to gather intelligence. Anyone identified in the videos can be targeted with action including criminal behaviour orders that can prevent them from associating with certain people, entering designated areas, wearing hoods or using social media and unregistered mobile phones.

Det Supt West said that only videos that raise the risk of violence are flagged, rather than drill music in general.

 

 

Commented: Spotify recommends...

R Kelly. Banned from algorithmic playlist suggestions after accusations of a bad attitude to women

Link Here 29th May 2018

Beginning on May 10, Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly 's music on any of the streaming service's editorial or algorithmic playlists. Under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy Spotify is putting into effect, the company will no longer promote the R&B singer's music in any way, removing his songs from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre- or mood-based playlists.

"We are removing R. Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly," Spotify told Billboard in a statement. "His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."

Over the past several years, Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual violence, coercion and running a "sex cult," including two additional women who came forward to Buzzfeed this week. Though he has never been convicted of a crime, he has come under increasing scrutiny over the past several weeks, particularly with the launch of the #MuteRKelly movement at the end of April. Kelly has vociferously defended himself , saying those accusing him are an "attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy." And while RCA Records has thus far not dropped Kelly from his recording contract, Spotify has distanced itself from promoting his music.

Update: #MuteRKelly: now it's #MeToo vs music

20th May 2018. See  article from spiked-online.com by Fraser Myers

Throwing alleged sex pests off Spotify playlists is a mockery of justice.

Update: Backing off a little from moral policing

29th May 2018. See  article from theverge.com

Earlier this month, Swedish streaming giant Spotify announced, that it would be introducing a policy on Hate Content and Hateful Conduct . The company left the policy intentionally vague, which allowed Spotify to remove artists from its playlists at will. When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or playlisting it on our service, the company's PR team wrote in a statement at the time. They added that R. Kelly -- who, over the course of his career, has been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct -- would be among those affected.

Now, following a backlash from artists and label executives, Bloomberg reports that Spotify has decided to back off the policy a little. That means restoring the rapper XXXTentacion's music to its playlists, despite that he was charged with battering a pregnant woman.

Part of the blowback has to do with the broad scope of the company's content policy, which seemed to leave the door open to policing artists' personal lives and conduct. We've also thought long and hard about how to handle content that is not hate content itself, but is principally made by artists or other creators who have demonstrated hateful conduct personally. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.

Spotify says R Kelly will remain banned from its playlists.

 

 

Rotting Christ...

Heavy metal band jailed as they enter Georgia for gig

Link Here 18th April 2018
Two members of veteran Greek extreme metal band Rotting Christ were detained on terrorism charges ahead of show in Georgia last Thursday, after authorities accused them of practising satanism, their record label has said.

According to a statement from Season of Mist, frontman Sakis Tolis was detained alongside his brother, drummer Themis, after being arrested on arrival in Tbilisi on charges allegedly relating to their band name. Sakis explains:

After the regular document check at the border, my brother and I were stopped by the police on our way out from the airport. After some minutes, we were ordered to follow police to another area of the airport under the pretence of further questioning before entering the country. Instead, we had our passports and mobile phones taken away and were led into a prison cell.

When we demanded to be told the reason for this arrest, we were simply told this information would be 'confidential'. Our lawyers informed us later that we are on a list of unwanted persons [regarded a threat to] national security that branded us as satanists and therefore suspects of terrorism.

Sakis says the pair were locked in a small and rather dirty cell, and without being permitted any contact to the outside world or legal representation or our embassy for 12 hours, before the promoters of the RedRum event , Sweden's Terror Crew Promotions and Georgia's Locomotive Promotion, intervened and the band were released without charge.

Due to the hard work of the local promoter, who involved legal experts, journalists, and activists in Georgia, we were finally released, he explains. We are extremely grateful to everybody involved in this process. In the end, we were even able to perform our show and it turned out to be a fantastic night.

 

 

Offsite Article: Another moral panic about rap...

Link Here 14th April 2018
Drill music is not the cause of youth violence. By Fraser Myers

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Damn! Nonsensical censorship at the Brit Awards...

A nonsensical decision to hire a musician whose message was rendered nonsensical by the nonsensical muting of terms that nobody would have understood anyway

Link Here 23rd February 2018
Brit Awards viewers were left baffled after parts of rap star Kendrick Lamar's performance were muted by ITV.

What's the point in having Kendrick Lamar perform on #BRITS if you're going to mute him every other word? tweeted JP, voicing the discontent of many.

Many assumed that Lamar's songs Feel and New Freezer were muted due to bad language. But it seems the main issues were references to drugs and oral sex. Some muted sections featured mentions of bad dope and cocaine white.

The US rapper himself actually changed the most overt bad language in his lyrics - but fell foul of the censor's button for the drug words and oblique slang references to oral sex.

Lamar's performance at the Brit Awards in London was broadcast on ITV on Wednesday almost an hour past the 9pm watershed. Yet the decision was made to mute the audio 10 times during his performance .

Asked about the decision to mute parts of the songs, ITV said the ceremony was broadcast to a wide audience. A spokeswoman said:

We have always used a short time delay and audio muting to deal with language viewers may consider unsuitable.

Lamar's performance also included a man taking a baseball bat to the windshield of an expensive-looking sports car.

On Thursday morning, TV censor Ofcom said it had received 74 complaints from viewers about Lamar's segment - some of whom feared this might incite criminal behaviour and property damage, and some complaining about implied bad language.

BBC music reporter Mark Savage described the car stunt as the evening's biggest metaphor failure, explaining:

His intention was to make a statement about the emptiness of status symbols and the trappings of fame. But, with most viewers unable to hear his lyrics, it came off as 'I'm so rich I can afford to smash up this very expensive car live on TV.'

Update: Ofcom not interested

5th March 2018.

Ofcom noted a final tally of 89 complaints but were not interested in taking matters further.

 

 

Insulting words...

Spanish rapper jailed for a song insulting royalty and alluding to ETA terrorism

Link Here 22nd February 2018
The Spanish Supreme Court has upheld a decision to jail a rapper for three and a half years for a song deemed to have glorified terrorism and insulted the crown, sparking a debate about freedom of expression in the country.

The court rejected arguments by little-known rapper Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, stage name Valtonyc, that his songs were protected by freedom of expression laws, when ratifying a sentence handed down last February.

Among the lyrics deemed criminal were: Let them be as frightened as a police officer in the Basque Country, a reference to violence against police officers in the region by the now-disarmed Basque separatist group ETA.

Valtonyc went on to fantasize about the king having a rendez-vous at the village square, with a noose around his neck. In another track Valtonyc referenced a Spanish politician and aristocrat involved in a corruption scandal about forcing her to see how her son lives among rats.

 

 

Bellicose moralism...

A Russian belly dancer is the latest victim of Egypt's morality drive

Link Here 9th February 2018
Full story: Music Censorship in Egypt...authorities persecute singers for slightly sexy music videos

The Tourism and Antiquities Police have referred a Russian belly dancer Eicatrina Andreeva, who goes by the name Gawhara, to investigations for wearing a 'non-standard' dancing suit A controversy arose over how the ideal dancing suit should look.

According to Act No. 430 of the law on the censorship of literary works, the dancing suit should cover the lower body, with no side slits, and should cover the breast and stomach area.

The Russian dancer was arrested over inciting 'debauchery and arousing young people's sexual instincts', as she appeared in a not particularly sexy dancing video that has gone viral.

Accompanied by a translator during her investigations, Gawhara added that she was wearing a dancing suit no different than those donned by many belly dancers in Egypt.

The Tourism and Antiquities Police stated that Gawhara was wearing a non-standard dancing outfit and was featured in a viral video flaunting her body and pointing to private parts of her body in a racy manner, according to the findings of preliminary investigation previously announced by the prosecution.

 

 

To Muslim zealots' dismay, Indonesians love raunchy dangdut music...

The law against performances of people dancing or moving in an erotic fashion is not universally observed

Link Here 2nd February 2018

 

 

Updated: Suggestive of repression...

Another Egyptian singer is arrested for supposed debauchery in a decidedly unsexy music video

Link Here 21st January 2018
Full story: Music Censorship in Egypt...authorities persecute singers for slightly sexy music videos
Egyptian authorities have arrested another female singer on charges of incitement to debauchery after her music video sparked controversy.

Leila Amer will be detained for four days while authorities investigate the video to the song Boss Oumek (Look At Your Mother) which includes supposedly suggestive dancing and gestures.

Ahmed Mahran, the lawyer who filed a complaint, argues the video poses a great risk to Egyptian society and especially young people.

Musicians' union president Hany Shaker, a male singer known for his conservative stance, last week announced on the private channel Dream TV that Amer had been expelled from the union, effectively ending her career as a musician.

Update: Another victim

21st January 2018. See  article from freemuse.org

Egyptian female singer and dancer Fatima, popularly known as Eghraa was arrested on 20 December 2017 on charges of inciting debauchery and violating public decency for the viral music video of her song I Want a Man in which she is seen dancing provocatively in revealing clothing, reported Egyptian news sources .

The artist's trial has been adjourned until 23 January 2018. If convicted, she could face up to three years in prison. This is the second time that the singer has been arrested on charges of inciting debauchery and facilitating prostitution,

 

 

Banned words...

Papua New Guinea chief censor penalises local musicians by banning their songs from radio and TV

Link Here 10th January 2018
The Papua New Guinea Office of Censorship has banned three local songs with lyrics deemed as inappropriate for listeners.

Chief Censor Steven Mala revealed that the three songs are Sigarapim saksak, Private Nangu and Meri Sunam by Jaro local.

The ban follows complaints on social media regarding the song Sigarapim saksak and the other two songs.

Chief Censor Steven Mala's description of the songs was harmful and not listener friendly, especially to the younger audience.

The Chief Censor has invited the concerned artists behind the banned songs to have an open dialogue with his office if they feel the need to justify why their songs should not be banned. We don't want be seen as we are just there to penalize any musicians, we want to work together with them in becoming professionals in the Music Industry and not just allowing them to produce something that is offensive to the public

 

 

I don't think we need to know or care what K-pop fans do with their pillows...

Fans said to be outraged by bolster pillows with life size images of each member of a girl band

Link Here 2nd January 2018
Life-size pillows of the K-Pop group GFriend have caused 'concern' in South Korea. Goods that are tribute to K-pop girl band GFriend have angered fans because the objects can apparently be used as sex toys.

The life-size bolster pillows, 180 centimetres long and 60 centimetres wide with a full body image of each member colour-printed on top, are the target of a little ludicrous outrage.

A few people whinged that the goods for encouraging fans to hug the objects and perhaps do more than just hugging them.

They claim that the objects reminded them of Japanese dakimakura pillows which are adorned with life size sexy characters from manga or anime.

A few fans on the band's social network site said that they would boycott the band's merchendise. The boycott movement carries the hashtag #GFRIEND_goods_not buying.

Source Music said online it had decided to withdraw the products from sale.

Apparently merchandise has become a new barometer of popularity among K-pop fans and that sales are best not disrupted by anything controversial.

 

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