Snoop Dogg has left the green behind, and now, the green has left him too.
The multi-platinum rapper says he hasn’t smoked marijuana in several weeks, and yet despite this recent move toward a more “family-friendly” D-o-double-g, Snoop is apparently no longer welcome around Kermit the Frog.
Snoop’s brief appearance in the made-for-television “It’s a Very Muppet Christmas Movie” has been dropped from the final cut, according to a statement issued by the Jim Henson Company. And despite the company’s insistence that the cameo was excised because it “did not advance [the show’s] story line,” an Islamic activist group is claiming responsibility for the change.
“Snoop has openly advocated the use of drugs, he financially supported a pornographic video and he writes and performs music that is both sexually explicit and violent,” explained Imam Najee Ali, director of the Los Angeles-based Project Islamic Hope. “This is not the image that our children should be exposed to in a Muppets [show].”
Ali claims that it was his group’s threat of an NBC boycott — which the organization made public via the syndicated Larry Elder Show four days before the Muppet folks’ announcement — that prompted the show’s producers to make the cut. He also credits conservative television host Bill O’Reilly, who railed against the planned cameo last week.
A spokesperson for the Jim Henson Company, however, countered that the Henson press release went out prior to any of the public criticism of Snoop, and added it went to Bill O’Reilly before his story ran.
“They’re embarrassed that they had to cave in to public pressure,” Ali reasoned. “No corporation wants to be perceived as weak, they want to be perceived as strong … and not giving in to threats from protesters. Our actions, as well as Mr. O’Reilly’s … we were the catalyst.”
A representative for Snoop Dogg declined to comment.
Though he doesn’t mind sharing credit with O’Reilly, Ali was quick to point out that he’d prefer not to be associated with the TV personality’s viewpoints on other issues, such as the recent debate sparked by O’Reilly concerning Pepsi and rapper Ludacris (see “Ludacris Barks Back At Pepsi, O’Reilly; P-Roach Antics Not An Issue For Soda Giant” ).
“I’m not going to support someone really targeting hip-hop from the outside,” he said. “Our generation needs to be the ones that have a say in hip-hop, not music outsiders like O’Reilly and C. Delores Tucker and other conservatives.
“Had Snoop not made the porno video we probably would have just taken a pass and not bothered with it,” he continued, adding that he once watched the “first five minutes” of the “Doggystyle” video for research purposes. “It was just so graphic and so hardcore that I had to say something about this, being an activist who’s also a religious leader.”
This isn’t Ali’s first offensive against Snoop. Project Islamic Hope claimed responsibility for having Snoop’s Los Angeles radio show removed from KKBT last year.
“We’re definitely trying to [gain] some momentum,” Ali said. “We’re going to be organizing a conference nationwide. We’re trying to ask the rappers to clean up the music as far as lyrical content. We feel they contribute to black-on-black crime. It’s kind of tricky because we don’t want to be perceived as censors. We want artists to take more responsibility.”