Music Censorship

The Beatles were denied airplay as their songs such as “A Day in the Life” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” were related to the use of the drug. Prodigy song, “Smack My Bitch Up” was banned because it was degrading the female. Eminem song, “Relapse” was censored because it had a lot of blood and it was deemed too scary for TV watchers. Mathangi Arulpragasam suffered censorship because the censor viewed the song, “Late Night With Dave Letterman” as violent because of use of violence since it has gunshots as its beats. Garth Brooks was censored in 1991 for violence music, “The Thunder Rolls” the song was banned from the stations such as TNN. Miley Cyrus was banned from performing in China because she took a photo when slanting her eyes to imitate China slanting eyes in 2009. Elvis Costello and his friend were denied work visa in the US to perform their song “Radio Radio” because the censor deemed that they were anti-media in 1987. Lady Gaga was also censored to perform in Indonesia in 2012 because censor feared that her sexy moves and body would corrupt the mind of their youth in 2012 causing a riot and threatening to use excessive force if she tried to perform by force (Landman n.p.).

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The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) an organization in the US aimed at controlling media that they deemed unfit for the masses. The organization was formed by women whose husbands were in power in 1985 such as Tipper Gore, wife of vice president who was also a senator, Al Gore; Susan Becker wife of treasury secretary, among others. Those women together were known as the Washington Wives. The organization stopped working in late 1990. The organization critical role was to increase parental control over what their children were watching by labeling media with stickers referred to as parental advisory stickers (Floorwalker n.p.). Parental advisory works to protect the person who is old enough to choose what they want to watch. For example, a father will not buy a movie with a sex sticker for his children. However, when the children see the disk rated sex or violent they will want that and they will but it. It implies that the people the sticker expose the people they purport to protect. My conclusion is that the parental advisory works for parents and not for children and therefore the parental advisory do not meet their goal. The Parental Advisory stickers make the lowly rated such as sex, violence CD’s demand to go high because people will buy that which is prohibited.

Furthermore, these labels make such songs or movies to go viral on social media platforms. Any law that prevents people from expressing themselves infringes on freedom of speech as per the US constitution. The strategy used to rate a medium is bogus because it depends on a few people in power dictating what people should or should be rated lowly. After all, as long as one is not preventing others from enjoying their rights one has the freedom of being themselves. Censorship takes all freedom of speech and expression from a free citizen who has this as their right in the constitution that they claim to abide. The artist should be allowed to express themselves as they want, and people are buying or listening to their songs or videos have the right to buy or not to buy from them. After all, the artist spends hours to better their skills to understand and meet the needs of their customers. The artist should not be punished because they never force anyone to watch or listen to their artwork. The citizen has all advantages to watching what they want and control what their children until they become of age to choose for them. Censorship only works to increase publicity for the artist (Belcik 27). People should be given free liberty to choose what they want. Because that are many ways to share music and other artwork and not only the internet and therefore even if the internet was not their sex, violent and other unwanted media will still be shared (Belcik 19). 2 Live Crew band produced their song “As Nasty as They Wanna Be” in 1989 and it was banned in Miami in June 6th that year. The Florida governor requested Nick Navarro to assess the song for obscenity. Navarro confirmed it was obscene and with the help of sheriff Broward. 2 Live Crew sued the Navarro, but judge Gonzalez declared that the song was obscene and it was not to be sold. After two days they arrested the 2 Live Crew producer in 1990. In 1992 the US court of appeals overturned the obscene rue. The supreme court rejected Broward appeal. Itys sale peaked, and over two million copies of the song were sold. However, in 1992 the law of parental advisory stickers was passed (Browne). I am a parent, and I always control what my children are watching. I buy their CD’s. I also monitor the TV show they watch I intend to do this until they are old enough to know the right from wrong. However, I know at some age censorship will not work because they will start getting all kinds of media from their friends or even buying from the shop. Every parent must censor what their children watch because it is efficient.

Works Cited

  • Belcik, Nathaniel T. Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics: A Case Study of Music Censorship and Suppression in America.PDXScholar, 26 Apr.2012, pp. 1-24, Accessed 18 Nov. 2017.
  • Browne, David. The State of Obscenity in Rap., 29 June 1990, Accessed 18 Nov. 2017.
  • Floorwalker, Mike.  The 6 Most Hilarious Failures in Music Censorship History., 20 Jan. 2013, Accessed 18 Nov. 2017.
  • Landman, Gabriella. Banned Music: 21 Artists Censors Tried To Silence. Billboard, 17 Aug. 2012, Accessed 18 Nov. 2017.
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Music Censorship. (2018, Dec 17). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from

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