The Derty Desh rap music video “Let Me Introduce Myself/Forever” opens with “graphic violence” involving the depiction of “the frenzied murder and dismemberment of a young woman by the hooded figure of the rapper” (accompanied by the rap track “Let Me Introduce Myself” and “offensive language”). The rap track “Forever” follows, accompanied by “images that show a young woman stalked and the hooded man summarily disposed of. The terrified woman is taken to a shack in the woods and attacked by the same hooded man.” The frenzied sexual violation of the woman is implied in the images and by the music that tends to glamorise the attack. In a classification decision published on 15 June 2010 in the May List of Decisions, the Chief Censor’s Office has classified it R18.
These quotes above from the censor’s report play down the deeply offensive and shocking nature of the music video clip that played on YouTube. However, they do concede it depicts “extreme violence and cruelty against women victims” and contains “material [that] pushes at the limits of acceptability and … set[s] out to shock”. The Chief Censor Bill Hastings and his deputy Nicola McCully, are ultimately responsible for failing to classify this video as objectionable and/or demand excisions to be made to its putrid content. Instead they have decided it can be viewed by anyone 18 years of age or over in their private homes or in any public adult restricted setting (e.g. dance party) . The Society contends that both censors should be immediately sacked by the Minister of Internal Affairs Hon. Nathan Guy. They are both well passed their used-by-date and have allowed the country to be swamped with a tidal wave of objectional publications containing objectional content that demeans, degrades and dehumanises women in particular and glamoses sexual perversions and promuscuity.
The censors argue that adults – 18 years of age and over – who regularly watch CSI forensic crime programmes on television involving serial killers and rapists will find little problem enjoying and rapping along with Derty Sesh’s video clip which they describe as “gruesome and [in] its misogyny [and] is obviously offensive to many”. Do the censors not understand that CSI programmes never glamorise crimes? However in the case of Dirty Sesh’s toxic obscene filth, the censors do concede that “exposure to the material may also encourage attitudes that contribute to criminal activity, particularly the misogyny that underlies violence towards women”.
It’s all in how you “read” the video clip argue the expert censors. Put intelligently into its proper “cultural context” and correct “genre”, they argue, many cool, freedom loving 18 and 18+ year old rap-lovers who strongly identify with Derty Sesh, will be little affected in any negative way, by being exposed to such material. Ministers of the Crown who watch such videos in the privacy of their hotel bedrooms would similarly find little adverse impact on their character or ministerial credit card. What one does with Derty Sech’s video images using the remote control is a private matter and no one else’s business! – Yeah right!
The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards Inc. which referred the video clip to the Department of Internal Affairs for classification, continues to maintain that this video clip should be subject to excisions or be banned.
Reference: Classification Office Decision: Derty Desh: Let Me Introduce Myself/Forever
OFLC ref. 1000547.000. Medium: Computer Moving Image
Date of entry of decision in Register: 21 May 2010
Decision Published 15 June 2010 in May Decision of OFLC