Less than 24 hours after a group of concerned parents and religious leaders gathered outside the Universal/Motown offices in Los Angeles to protest the bloody promotion for Ashanti's "The Way That I Love You" single, the singer's label has pulled the offending "Gotchagram" clip from her site. And, according to one of the protest leaders, the decision came after his group threatened to picket Ashanti's performance at Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
"Following discussions with Ashanti, we have jointly decided to remove the TheWayThatILoveYou.com website that hosts the Gotchagram," read a statement issued from the singer's label Wednesday morning (June 11). "Ashanti and her music have always been about self-empowerment and addressing the issues that are most meaningful to her. We stand by our artist and her creative choices."
Paul Porter of the nonpartisan media justice think tank Industry Ears said he was pleased with the rapid response, which he said came from the top. "I just got off the phone with [Motown Records President] Sylvia Rhone," he told MTV News on Wednesday, just before the statement was issued. "And she said they were going to pull it down, and that was the goal, so we're happy about that."
Porter said the decision to can the promotion came after his group threatened to protest Ashanti's performance of the national anthem during Sunday's playoff game in Los Angeles. Just after noon (ET) on Wednesday, Porter provided MTV News with a copy of the e-mail he sent with the protest threat, as well as what he said was the response from Rhone, which read, "The sight [sic] is down, I took it down this morning."
As of 12:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the link to the Gotchagram was still on Ashanti's official site, but it redirected users to her official homepage instead of the offending one.