November 10 [12:00 EDT] — The image of a beautiful, provocatively-clad “robot” providing sexual and household chores before running amuck in the latest Duran Duran video is under fire in Canada for being in poor taste.
“Electric Barbarella” has been pulled off the air by the nation’s music station, MuchMusic, as well as by its sister Musique Plus French-language network. An interviewer for the CBC’s Newsworld also confronted the band on national television. Duran Duran, their management and their label, Capitol, are crying foul and accusing the Canadians of censorship.
The northern networks, however, say that the video has not been banned, they’ve just opted not to air it. “We have to make choices all the time of what we are going to air or not, and in this case it was just a matter of taste,” Musique Plus music director Benoir Van Ness told the L.A. Times. “We have played it and we may play it again. But we do not feel it’s one of the best videos we have now. The song
is OK, but the video is just not very tasteful.”
During the CBC news interview, the bandmembers noted that the song and video had been derived from the movie “Barbarella,” a Roger Vadim flick starring Jane Fonda, which hosted a similar sexual, futuristic theme. They also pointed out that in their scenario, the robot ends up beating up her handlers.
A Capitol Records spokesperson told the Times that a viewers’ forum conducted by Musique Plus on the issue showed that 80% supported the band. “This is a video that is tongue in cheek, and 80% of the people are calling and saying they want to see it,” said Captitol’s Lou Mann. “You have to ask if it’s a wise programming decision. I don’t think it is.”