It's certainly been a trying year for Maya Arulpragasam. First there was the slight delay in the paperwork for her U.S. visa, which meant she had to record her universally acclaimed new album, Kala, in several beautiful, exotic countries instead of just in Brooklyn (in your FACE, America!). And now this — yesterday, on her MySpace blog, M.I.A. blasted MTV for digitally altering the gunshot noises in the video for her new single "Paper Planes":
SO THEY TRIED TO SHUT ME DOWN AGAIN. I MADE THE PAPER PLANES VIDEO. I MADE IT HOW THEY WANTED. NO VIOLENCE. AMBIGUOUS. MTV - FRIENDLY. NOW TODAY, I CHECK YOUTUBE AND SEE THE LEAKED MTV PAPER PLANES VIDEO UP FOR THE FIRST TIME. I CLICKED ON IT AND OUT COMES THIS FUCKED UP MESS WITH DOUBLE-TRACKED BULLSHIT MESS [...]
THE VIDEO WAS SABOTAGED FOR WHATEVER REASON AND IM DISAPPOINTED THAT MTV HAS HAD SUCH A MAJOR ROLE IN THIS. THE BLOGGERS WHO ARE LAZY ENOUGH TO FOLLOW THE MTV LINK AND POST UP AND COMMENT ON THE SOUND WHEN THAT HASNT BEEN COMPROMISED AND THE GUNSHOT ARENT REPLACED AND EDITED MAKES ME SAD. I DID FIGHT FOR THE SOUND , BECAUSE PUTTING MEANINGS IN YOUR VIDEOS, IN MY OPINION IS A DYING ART.
We're not quite sure why it would come as a surprise to anyone that MTV would censor gun sounds or imagery, as they've been doing so since 1997, according to Wikipedia. What does surprise us is that MTV ever considered showing the video at all. We had no idea they still aired music videos, much less ones by talented artists like M.I.A. If anything, it likely airs at odd hours when nobody's watching. And since the "uncensored" version is now the only one on YouTube (after someone demanded that MTV's edited clip be taken down — in your FACE, censorship!), this whole thing is pretty much a nonissue, right? Don't expect that to keep you from having to read about it, though.
Oh, here's the uncensored video: