Last week, Cyrus inadvertently started a war of words with controversial ’90s singer Sinead O’Connor after citing her as an influence on her much-discussed “Wrecking Ball” video in her Rolling Stone interview. O’Connor went on to write a series of “open letters” chastising the pop star, eventually demanding a public apology for what she considered disparaging remarks against people with mental illnesses.
Now, Cyrus seems to have raised the ire of Eurythmics‘ Annie Lennox, who took to her Facebook over the weekend (October 5) to post her own open letter regarding young females in the music industry, though she made a point not to name any names.
“I have to say that I’m disturbed and dismayed by the recent spate of overtly sexualized performances and videos. You know the ones I’m talking about,” Lennox wrote. “It seems obvious that certain record companies are peddling highly styled pornography with musical accompaniment. As if the tidal wave of sexualized imagery wasn’t already bombarding impressionable young girls enough…It’s a glorified and monetized form of self harm.”
After the posting quickly went viral, Lennox was moved to again address the issue on her Facebook page the following day (October 6) to clarify her original statements.
“I tried to be carefully measured with my comments on yesterday’s blog, realizing that the subject clearly courts controversy and divisiveness,” she posted. “On reflection I will say that sexuality is an inherent and profound part of life. There is absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ about our sexuality or sensuality per se – But if a performing artist has an audience of impressionable young fans and they want to present a soft porn video or highly sexualized live performance, then it needs to qualify as such and be X rated for adults only.”
Today (October 7), Lennox further elaborated on her position with an on-air interview with BBC Radio 5
“No, I wasn’t pulling back,” the singer stressed regarding the second Facebook post. “I was qualifying what I was saying… and this is not a retraction in any way, but I actually think that what is really required are some kind of very clear boundaries. You know, there’s a big difference between a 7-year-old watching these influential people doing things I would say are pornographic… There’s a difference between what is pornographic and what is entertainment.
“I don’t think there’s one parent of young boys and girls in this country that would honestly, comfortably say that they were fine with seeing their kids exposed to that kind of thing,” Lennox continued. “There isn’t a boundary for it. There are so many millions of hits on YouTube. With this barrage, how do you stop your kids being exposed to it? It’s so powerful. I’m sure I talk for millions of parents… it’s into the realm of porn. You don’t want to see your 7-year-old girls twerking all over the place. That’s not right. It’s not age-appropriate.”
While Miley Cyrus has yet to address this latest series of commentary that seems to be pointed in her direction, she did talk about the Sinead O’Connor controversy during an awkward interview with Matt Lauer during an appearance on Today this morning.
“My thoughts, if you want to know my thoughts, I think she’s an incredible artist,” Miley said of Sinead. “I think she’s an awesome songwriter and I was really inspired by her for my ‘Wrecking Ball’ video, which was what started the whole thing. I don’t know how someone can start a fight with somebody that’s saying, ‘Hey I really respect you and I really love what you did.’ ‘You know what? You suck!’ And that was kind of crazy. But, like I said, I’m a big fan of hers and so it doesn’t really matter… It’s all good. You can write as many open letters as you want. That’s really what blogging is. I get open letters every day; it’s nothing too new for me.”
- Scott T. Sterling, Radio.com