TW stung over Prodigy song

Time Warner Inc., which drew criticism for selling a record called “Cop Killer” several years ago, has come under attack again for promoting a song named “Smack My Bitch Up.”

The single, on the hit British group Prodigy’s “The Fat of the Land” album, was released last week under Madonna’s Maverick label, which is half-owned by Warner Bros. Records, a division of Time Warner.

Time Warner chairman Gerald Levin declined comment, but sources told the Los Angeles Times that officials in the company’s music division did not know it had financed the song’s marketing campaign until receiving a call from the Times.

Prodigy producer Liam Howlett defends the single, saying the title phrase is not about hitting women, but a metaphor for “doing anything intensely.”

Prodigy also made a musicvideo for the song, which Warner Bros. refused to finance and MTV rejected. Among other things, it features images of women being manhandled and a scene in which drugs are injected.

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