Most Controversial Music Videos

Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, incestuous Gainsbourgs make list
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2009 8:14 AM CDT

With MTV's Video Music Awards set for Sunday (not that you'll see many videos on the channel these days), takes a look at some of the form’s most controversial:

  • Closer, Nine Inch Nails: To go along with the explicitly sexual lyrics, this 1994 piece includes a monkey fixed to a cross, a nude woman with a crucifix mask, and a diagram of a vulva. And it’s in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
  • Jeremy, Pearl Jam: The 1992 video depicts a boy who, after being teased, heads into a classroom with a gun; MTV banned it after the 1999 Columbine massacre.

  • Lemon Incest, Serge Gainsbourg: The French star’s song for his daughter was already controversial; the 1984 video showed him in bed with Charlotte, then 12.
  • Like A Prayer, Madonna: The Vatican’s laundry list of complaints with this 1989 hit included burning crosses and Madonna making out with a saint and developing stigmata.
  • The Thunder Rolls, Garth Brooks: CMT and TNN banned this 1991 hit in which an abusive husband gets what’s coming to him.
For the full list, with video clips, click the link below.
(Read more entertainment stories.)

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