Yesterday, MTV premiered M.I.A’s “Paper Planes” video on TRL, but much to the chagrin of the British ragga ruffian, the network edited out her gunfire-filled chorus and references to bongs and anything else deemed inappropriate for the show’s tween fans. (Watch the unedited version below, and read M.I.A’s reaction on her MySpace blog here.)
It’s been so long since I watched TRL that I thought Carson Daly might still be wandering around the Times Square studio. (Okay, yeah, so he’s supposedly got a late-night talk show, but has anyone actually seen it?) Seriously, though, while I’m glad M.I.A. is getting exposure with mainstream audiences—and rightfully so, seeing as her second album, Kala, has been on virtually every year-end, best-of list for 2007—there’s something depressing about MTV’s decision to censor one of the few socially relevant female acts on its lineup. I mean, if it’s okay for today’s youth to watch Christina, Britney, Lindsay, andParis writhing around on the floor, can’t they handle seeing M.I.A. sellingsandwiches in Brooklyn and hearing a few gun shots in the background? Are you with me on this one, or do you think MTV was right to err on the side of caution?