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Banned Music Videos

tatu, madonna, and M.I.A.

Artists throughout history have faced public outcry in response to their work. Pablo Picasso’s paintings were denounced as “satanic”. Pioneer sculptor Marcel Duchamp had his early works banned from museums. Is the music video the modern-day equivalent?

Back when MTV was our only source for music videos, if MTV banned a video it meant no one got to see it. They banned Queen’s I Want To Break Free for promoting cross-dressing, Madonna’s Justify My Love for being too sexual, and All the Things She Said for “depictions of lesbianism” (even though it turned out to be fake.)

It’s not only MTV that has been censoring. YouTube has banned videos from its platform – sometimes for vague reasons like the politically charged Born Free by M.I.A. Luckily they’ve reversed their decision and we’re able to offer you a YouTube playlist below.

The list is also an insight into how culture has evolved. Cher’s video for If I Could Turn Back Time was banned from MTV in 1989 for her revealing outfit. Yet now we have videos like WAP airing in the mainstream. Yay for progress!

Music Videos Banned from TV

YouTube Playlist

Spotify Playlist

This site is dedicated to fun playlist themes! Have we missed a song that should be included in this playlist? Comment below to let us know — we’ll add it!

Donal View All

Online community builder and avid writer with interests in technology, travel, Nintendo, and fitness.

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