|MTV CENSOR PUBLIC ENEMY
You'd think that after years of "videos that reek of lewd sexual
nature, Black on Black violence, drugs, violence against women,"
that the creators of such venerable shows as "Beavis & Butthead,"
"Jackass" and "The Osbournes" would have few taboos left. But how
about that last uncharted taboo: political speech?
MTV has reportedly decided to censor Public Enemy's newest video
"Gotta Give The Peeps What They Need" unless the band strikes the
word "Free" from "Free Mummia" in the video. Award-winning
journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has received
international attention for his conviction and death sentence for
killing a Philadelphia police officer, under what most jurist
regard as a blatantly unfair trial.
Free speech has always been an integral part of Music and its
role in shaping key issues affecting our society from the civil
rights movement & Vietnam protest, to apartheid in South Africa
and famine/AIDs in the broader continent. Even in this pro-war
environment, artists are creating works to help us question and
reexamine our biases and pre-conceptions. As members of the Music
industry, we should all feel outraged and shocked at MTV's
abdication in protecting artists' Free speech.