Perfume Genius Promo Clip Removed From YouTube, REM’s Michael Stipe Speaks Out

Have you listened to that stunning song on PeteHatesMusic for the new Perfume Genius song, Hood? I’m actually listening to it again as I write this. The video was controversial in some circles, as the video featured a gay adult film star alongside the gay singer, both barely clothed, but doing nothing wrong.

However, a 16 second album promo clips, which features snippets from the Hood video, has been removed by YouTube (via NME). YouTube said that the video for Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) “promoted mature sexual themes”.

YouTube sent to following message to Perfume Genius’ record label Matador after taking down the video: “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.”

Matador’s Nils Bernsetin added: “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.”

Granted, I don’t have kids, and I’m not under the age of 18 (perhaps I am mentally), but the clip is actually totally fine in my opinion. Give it a watch below.

Perfume Genius ad from nils bernstein on Vimeo.

Michael Stipe from REM has spoken out on his blog about the matter, too. “I’ve been listening to the new Perfume Genius record. It is a beautiful and amazing record and a stunning 2nd album and achievement. But in trying to advertise the record and first video, this short clip has been banned by YouTube. For YouTube to deem this advertisement as “non family safe” is dumbheaded discrimination; I find their actions in doing so disgraceful and cowardly. YouTube, shame on you. You were born of the 21st Century, now act like it.”

So who is right? Michael Stipe and Matador, or YouTube and its potentially harmed audience?

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