We've written several posts about Perfume Genius (aka Michael Hadreas), one of our favorite gay musicians, in the last few weeks. He has a beautiful new album, Put Your Back N 2 It, due out February 21, and we can't get enough of his new video "Hood" featuring porn star Arpad Miklos.
So needless to say we were displeased to hear that a 16-second promotional video (above) that the singer-songwriter recently submitted to YouTube was rejected for not being "family safe."
According to Matador Records, YouTube sent the following response to the ad, which also features Miklos:
"The ad has been disapproved because it violates our Adult Image/Video Content policy. Per this policy, video content, audio, static imagery, and site content must be family safe. Any ads that contain non family safe material are disapproved. I noted to the team that the people in the video are not entirely unclothed, but the overall feeling of the video is one of a more adult nature, including promoting mature sexual themes and what appears to be nude content. As such, the video is non family safe. In order to have this video ad approved, you will need to bring it into compliance with our policy."
Matador adds that they asked twice for clarification about which part(s) were problematic and what edits YouTube would require to bring it into compliance, but never received a response.
We're having a hard time imagining that there'd be any trouble if the same ad were shot featuring a heterosexual couple.
Even more ironic is that another song from Put Your Back N 2 It, "All Waters," is about internalized homophobia. The song details how Hadreas notices straight couples being affectionate on the street and how it causes him to wonder what it must feel for them to not have to think or worry about it.
What do you think? Does this video deserve to be banned? Or is there something fishy going on here? Sound off in the comments section below.
Update: Nils Bernstein of Matador Records sent along the following statement:
"I should note that this isn't a user-uploaded video -- the music video itself is on YouTube and not even flagged as 'adult' -- this is
what's called a "pre-roll" ad, those annoying ads that we pay YouTube to run before videos you want to watch. So it seems they're worried about upsetting unsuspecting viewers that don't want to see two men looking romantically at each other. But I've had ads for
anti-gay-rights Republican candidates and "Jersey Shore"-style TV shows sprung on me that seem to fit 'not family safe' or "promoting mature sexual themes' more than this. I bet most of the people in the approvals department don't even agree with this, but are afraid to piss off deep-pocketed conservative clients, which is even sadder given the innocence of this clip."