On Sunday, hours before 30 Seconds to Mars' long-awaited "Hurricane" short film was set to premiere on MTV and MTV.com, Jared Leto took to his blog to post a lengthy list of "issues" an unnamed network had with the mini-movie.
The list was as detailed as it was long (sample entry: "09:17 -- Woman's finger running over other woman's bottom in G-String and touching anus -- COMPLETELY RESTRICTED"), but the point Leto was making was pretty clear. And just in case it wasn't, he spelled it out in the title of his blog post: " 'Hurricane' Banned From Television."
That led to several reports stating that MTV had banned the "Hurricane" clip, which, as it turns out, wasn't actually true. In fact, the letter he posted on his blog wasn't even from MTV, as he explained Wednesday (December 1) in an e-mail to MTV News.
"The standards notes I posted are not from MTV USA, they are from another channel entirely. One of MANY, actually, that sent long lists of what was required to be censored in order to secure air time around the world," he wrote. "MTV's list was actually rather light compared to others. MOST channels around the world flat out restricted us completely from any 'daytime play' at all, relegating the film to graveyard-shift viewing only."
That said, "Hurricane" was pulled from MTV's on-air rotation subsequent to its premiere, but, as Leto put it, not because the network had banned the film. Rather, as he said in a separate phone interview with MTV News, "There are some edits that need to be made ... there is some footage that remained in the cut that was, I guess, overlooked."
In a statement to MTV News, a spokesperson for MTV added that the channel would return "Hurricane" to its on-air lineup once the edit had been made.
"Contrary to various erroneous reports, the video has not been banned from MTV," the statement read. "The video is currently available on MTV.com and will return to on-air rotation shortly."
For his part, Leto remains rather mystified about the entire thing. To hear him tell it, there's nothing in "Hurricane" that's particularly controversial, and he never intended for the video to stir up this much outrage.
"I never set out to make a controversial film. I didn't set out to make a film that would get banned — as it has — from several networks around the world, and restricted to nighttime broadcast," he said. "I didn't really have those things in mind, I really just set out on this journey and followed my creative instinct to tell the truth.
"I think with a piece of work like this, this all becomes part of the process — whether it's a song or a show or a film — it all brings us on this journey, and, this just happens to be part of the journey of 'Hurricane,' this controversial, banned little film," he added. "I didn't expect all this to happen, but it's a good thing that it happens, only because of the conversation that it may provoke, about these sort of things, and looking at art and creative expression and weighing that against protecting the viewers from the exhibition of certain behaviors."
Have you watched "Hurricane" yet? Share your reviews in the comments!