British band Prodigy's new sexually explicit video, Smack My Bitch Up, has been airing for a week on MTV in the U.S., but MuchMusic is still weighing its options.
"It's approved for late night airing," Sarah Crawford, MuchMusic's director of communications, said yesterday. Late night means after 9 p.m.
"In other words, we're contemplating playing it late at night or putting it in context with a panel who can discuss it. It's a decision that Denise Donlon, our VP and GM, might make at some point. "
The graphic video is told from the point of view of a hard-drinking, coke-snorting, car-stealing protagonist whose night out involves groping women, getting into fights, throwing up repeatedly, and winding up at a stripper bar where one of the performers is taken home for a sex romp that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Crawford said the video is "pretty adult and there's an implication of real violent behavior. MuchMusic's philosophy is to take a hard line against violence. And it's one of those frustrating things because a lot of people here, myself included, think as a piece of filmmaking it's a beautiful thing. "
MTV is airing Smack My Bitch Up between 1-5 a.m., with a verbal warning and shots of female genitalia blurred out.
Crawford said MuchMusic's policy is not to edit or alter videos, but to play it or reject it.
Prodigy is already in hot water with the National Organization For Women in the U.S. for allegedly promoting domestic abuse.
But in an interview with The Toronto Sun in July, Prodigy's Leeroy Thornhill explained the lyrics "change my pitch up, smack my bitch up. "
"The bitch is the music, not a girl thing," he said. "We're not trying to put messages in about 'It's cool to beat up women,' because that's just pathetic. "
The release of Smack My Bitch Up prompted WalMart and Kmart in the U.S. to yank Prodigy's double-platinum album The Fat Of The Land, which has been out since July 1.
There has been no similar controversy in Canada, the band's record label said.