Britney Spears’ ‘Criminal’ Director Talks Gun Controversy

'It blew me away that members of [the British] Parliament were speaking about this,' Chris Marrs Piliero tells MTV News.

When Britney Spears hit London to shoot her “Criminal” video, she caused quite a stir. The singer immediately was criticized by local officials for her use of a gun in the sexy, crime-fantasy clip. Spears addressed the issue, shrugging off the controversy , and this week, fans finally got to see what all the fuss was about when the steamy clip dropped.

MTV News spoke to the video’s director, Chris Marrs Piliero , who said he was surprised the video’s gunplay became such a big deal.

“Holding the gun became a controversial thing ’cause we filmed it in London, and they don’t have a lot of gun use out there,” he explained. “That doesn’t mean that there’s no gun use, so I did find it really interesting. For me, the thing is, it blew me away that members of [the British] Parliament were speaking about this. One, because it’s a music video, and two, because don’t you guys have television shows out there that show crime?

“It’s really strange to me,” he continued, adding just what bothered him most about the controversy: “I don’t understand why pop stars are put on such a high pedestal over other celebrities. Why do members of Parliament feel that they need to scrutinize her for having a gun, and ‘She’s in the public,’ and ‘She should know better,’ and ‘She’s a role model,’ but what about every other celebrity out there? What about every other actor? That’s very strange to me. I was really surprised at how much the gun use was scrutinized.”

Plus, Piliero said it makes sense that the couple, played by Britney and her real-life boyfriend, Jason Trawick , are using guns. “He’s a professional criminal, so it makes sense he has a gun,” the director said. “We shouldn’t censor ourselves.”

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