Less than two weeks after it went up, rapper Mykki Blanco’s new video for “Loner” was removed from YouTube for violating community guidelines — an act that Blanco says reveals a double standard in how YouTube evaluates videos depicting queer artists.
“Loner,” which has since been reinstated on YouTube, features Blanco, guest singer Jean Deaux, and a handful of dancers performing in gender-nonconforming clothing. Since her music project’s debut, Blanco has played with images of queer sexuality. “Loner” is nothing new for her, but certain sexually suggestive shots seem to have triggered YouTube’s nudity filters.
As Blanco pointed out on Twitter, there is no actual nudity or sex in the video. She said she believes the queer themes in “Loner” caused YouTube to apply its community guidelines more strictly than it does for other music videos containing sexually suggestive performances.
“Why is queer sexuality censored and policed but images for a cis male gaze of sexualized women are not?” Blanco asked on Twitter. “Topless women with bare buttocks is acceptable, suggestive queer imagery is banned.”
YouTube did not respond to a request for comment.
In October, Tove Lo experienced a similar problem when her short film, “Fairy Dust,” was pulled from YouTube. That video also depicted queer sexuality (Tove Lo has a female love interest in the film). “Fairy Dust” made it back onto YouTube after Tove Lo appealed the decision to take it down.