10 Music Videos Banned By MTV

Too much for MTV...

Madonna Erotica
Warner Bros.

The '80s was the era of Reagan's America, mass consumerism, the Moonwalk, and of course MTV. The music channel revolutionised how music was consumed. It influenced record sales to no end; if you had a repeated video, you had a hit. As the '80s went on, MTV realised they needed to do more to bring in viewers, and so more and more time was given over to reality TV. Music might have been the way to market to the kids, but reality trash kept them engaged. Pretty soon it was all about ratings.

As the channel grew, programmers recognised their cultural sway had not gone unnoticed. By the time the mid '80s rolled around, musicians were having censorship stickers slapped on their records - a way to protect the fragile minds of the youth - and anyone promoting lurid or controversial content was next in the firing line.

Ratings were the main priority for MTV, no doubt a controversial video would pull in views, but it wasn't worth the wrath of Parents Music Resource Center. MTV became just as hot on censorship as anyone else. These are the videos deemed too risqué for the channel that all but spawned the art form.

As a side, due to the nature of some of these videos, you may be required to sign in with YouTube to verify your age.

10. Foo Fighters - Low (2003)

Dave Grohl has never taken the moniker of 'rock star' too seriously. His videos with Foo Fighters have always bordered on the absurd. When the group aren't indulging in their proclivity to dress in women's clothing, they're dressing like old men or attempting to safely land aircraft while inebriated.

The idea behind Low was as ridiculous as any other. Grohl originally wanted an uncut sequence of Jack Black dancing in drag, but he was persuaded to flesh the concept out, so to speak. The result was five-and-half minutes of debauched carnage. Grohl and Black played a couple of southern trucker types, shacked up with an unholy amount of booze and a healthy collection of women's clothing - all good harmless fun. Dave Grohl, in knee high stilettos is quite a sight... Cross-dressing wasn't necessarily the reason these guys got pulled off MTV, though.

As the booze flows more freely, it's pretty strongly implied that the two share a carnal desire for one another. Cross-dressing might have okay by this point, but two drunk dudes going at it, was another matter entirely.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.