The new video from Sri Lankan born star M.I.A. has been restricted on YouTube, due to excessive violence.
M.I.A. has always been deeply outspoken. The daughter of a Tamil civil rights activist, the singer has frequently caused controversy and recently sparked a debate over the New York Times coverage of Sri Lankan politics.
Working on her new album, M.I.A. recently unveiled new track ‘Born Free’ on her website. Accompanied by a nine minute video the singer has decided to show a police crackdown against members of an ethnic minority – represented by ginger people.
An allegory for the suffering of minorities, it has immediately born comparisons with the plight of the Tamil people in M.I.A.’s native Sri Lanka. Containing some very explicit violence the video intends to show the damage social divisions can cause. Immediately causing enormous controversy, the video for ‘Born Free’ has been removed from areas of YouTube.
In addition to this, the video has been labelled with an age restriction in some countries. A spokesperson for YouTube refused to comment on individual cases, but affirms that the site refuses to show gratuitous violence.
“On YouTube the rules prohibit content like pornography or gratuitous violence” they argued. “Our policy is to age-restrict content that has been flagged by the community and identified by our policy enforcement team as content that, while not violating our community guidelines, is not suitable for users under age 18.”
M.I.A.’s label XL Recordings refused to comment on the row. Directed by Romain Gavras the track is the first the Sri Lankan born singer has released since the huge success of her single ‘Paper Planes’.
M.I.A. is set to release her third album this summer.