Video: Youtube pulls ‘non family safe’ gay music ad

Stephen Gray January 26, 2012
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A record label in the US has expressed surprise at Youtube’s decision to pull an advert showing two shirtless men embracing after the video-hosting site said it violated their adult image policy.

The 16-second clip is an ad for a new record by Perfume Genius, the stage name of Mike Hadreas, containing shots from a music video for his single ‘Hood’.

It features the artist in an embrace with gay porn star Arpad Miklos which Youtube said “promoted mature sexual themes”.

At one point in the clip, the singer looks down while being held by Miklos. Neither is wearing a shirt. In a second shot, they are filmed embracing while wearing only underwear.

Vimeo continues to host the video, which you can watch above.

Gay musician Michael Stipe has slammed the decision as “discrimination”.

The response sent to Matador read: “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.

“As such, the video is non family safe. In order to have this video ad approved, you will need to bring it into compliance with our policy.”

Matador say they have received no further response from Youtube in response to requests for clarification on how they could bring the video up to code.

Nils Bernsetin, publicity director at Matador said yesterday: “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.

“But I’ve had ads for anti-gay-rights Republican candidates and “Jersey Shore”-style TV shows sprung on me that seem to fit ‘not family safe’ or “promoting mature sexual themes’ more than this.

“I bet most of the people in the approvals department don’t even agree with this, but are afraid to piss off deep-pocketed conservative clients, which is even sadder given the innocence of this clip.”

Former REM frontman Michael Stipe wrote last night on his Tumblr account: “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.”

The full video for the single ‘Hood’ remains hosted on Youtube. has contacted Youtube but has so far been unable to obtain clarification.

More: Advertising, Americas, US, YouTube

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