Music Videos Slammed for Negative Portrayal of Black Women

Singer Robin Thicke performs at the MTV VMAs Concert to Benefit LifeBeat, presented by MTV and Time Warner Cable at Terminal 5 in New York City on Aug. 23, 2013.  
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MTV

A searing new report revisits an age-old concern about the portrayal of women, especially blacks, in music videos, which are engulfed in overtones of racism and sexism, researchers say, according to the International Business Times.

The depiction of women in music videos “creates a ‘conducive context’ for violence against women and girls,” the IBT writes about the recurring theme, which is especially prominent in hip-hop lyrics.


The report, Pornographic Performances, released in Britain by End Violence Against Women Coalition, Imkaan and Object, condemns the portrayal of women in pop videos as hypersexualized and “endlessly sexually available” objects, the IBT writes. IBT’s reporting cites as examples “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, “Summer” by Calvin Harris, and “Never Say Never” by Basement Jaxx.

The activists are calling on leading figures in the music industry, as well as media regulators and politicians, to make changes, IBT says.


Further, the study denounces the depiction of black women as “wild and animalistic” hypersexual objects, IBT says. It also states that “racialised tropes” cut across all genres of music.

Researchers say that viewers have been found to have “an associated tolerance of racist, sexist and even rape-tolerant attitudes,” according to IBT.


Additionally, findings show that those who watched music videos in a controlled setting exhibit “more sexist attitudes towards women and are more tolerant of sexual harassment,” IBT reports. They are more likely to endorse a "sexual double standard"—which sees men who have many sexual partners as admirable and women who do so as “sluts,” the IBT notes.

Lia Latchford of Imkaan's Young Women's Team, said that for years women have been coming forward with complaints about the representation of women in popular culture, IBT reports.


“We are happy to finally see a briefing which reflects their experiences and the harmful impact of racism and sexism in music videos," IBT quotes her as saying.

Read more at Yahoo! News.

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