Britney Spears Criticized For Carrying Gun In ‘Criminal’ Video

  • Share
  • Read Later

Perhaps it would have been simpler had she replaced the weapon with a snake around her neck.

Britney Spears has incurred the wrath of Britain’s politicians for brandishing a weapon during her latest music video for “Criminal.”

While the clip’s director Chris Marrs Piliero (he also helmed “I Wanna Go”) is clearly taking the song title literally, that hasn’t appeased lawmakers, who are unhappy that these scenes glamorize gun violence, especially in light of the recent riots that swept across England in August.

(LIST: Top 30 Music Videos of All Time)

The bone of contention surrounds Spears running out of a convenience store in Hackney (which so happens to have been affected by the riots) waving a fake pistol. “I think she should apologize and make a sizeable donation to a Hackney charity that deals with young people, in compensation for the rudeness and damage that she’s done to our community,” borough Councilor Ian Rathbone told the ITV news program London Tonight.

Hackney’s Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott, has also weighed in. “It is only a music video, but it’s images like this, with pop stars glamorizing gangs, which means that some young people … get drawn in,” she said, adding, “Britney should really know better.”

The video is paying homage to Bonnie and Clyde, with Jason Trawick getting the gig as her accomplice. Trawick happens to be Spears’s real-life boyfriend though we’re sure he would have got the job on his own merits.

Adding fuel to the fire, according to Hackney Council, who greenlit the shoot, there was no mention of a gun being used by the production team. Had there been, said the Council, they wouldn’t have been given the go-ahead to shoot (pun not intended) at the recently restored Stoke Newington Town Hall. “In this case we did not agree that a replica gun could be used at Stoke Newington Town Hall and we are disappointed,” the Council said in a statement to London Tonight. “We will be raising this matter with the production company.” (via San Francisco Chronicle)

PHOTOS: Britney Spears in MTV’s Most Memorable Moments

Glen Levy is an Executive Producer at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @glenjl. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest