In the wake of a protest Thursday by the National Organization for Women, MTV announced it has dropped the racy musicvideo for the song “Smack My Bitch Up” by techno band Prodigy that had been targeted for its degrading images of violence against women.
However, an MTV spokesman said the protest had nothing to do with the decision to stop airing the “Smack” video and that the Viacom-owned cable net had planned all along to stop running the video after a week between 1-5 a.m.
A statement released by MTV referred to the video — which depicts women being beaten and injecting illegal narcotics — as “groundbreaking and newsworthy” and noted that it carried “a rating disclaimer and was preceded by an MTV news piece (detailing the furor over the song’s lyrics) each time it aired.”
The song’s lyrics are limited to two lines: “Change my pitch up/Smack my bitch up.”
The tumult over “Smack” intensified Thursday when Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem led a group of feminists in a rally outside Time Warner’s corporate offices in Manhattan, protesting MTV’s continued airplay for what they considered a negative video.
After MTV announced its removal of the video from its rotation, a statement from NOW praised the move as an “early Christmas gift to young women and girls.”
“Smack” was included on Prodigy’s “Fat of the Land” album, which was released through Maverick/Warner Records. Maverick is Madonna’s record label.