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Most Controversial & Banned Music Videos of All Time

Bjork, “Pagan Poetry”

The Nick Knight-directed 2001 video raised plenty of eyebrows for its stylized imagery depicting sex from Björk‘s personal footage, including fellatio and ejaculation. There are also scenes of needles going through skin with pearls, as well as a dress consisting of pearls piercing her skin, and a shot of a Corset piercing.

The video was banned by MTV in the United States, but was eventually shown in unedited form on MTV2 during a “20 Most Controversial Music Videos” special. The music video still regularly ranks on Most Controversial Video lists.

Madonna, “Justify My Love”

The Queen of Pop is no stranger to banned material, and 1990′s “Justify My Love” is no exception.

The sexual Jean-Baptiste Mondino-directed video, which featured depictions of bisexuality, crossdressing and nudity, was quickly deemed too explicit for MTV, and was promptly banned, which led her to respond with: “Why is it that people are willing to go and watch a movie about someone getting blown to bits for no reason at all, and nobody wants to see two girls kissing and two men snuggling?”

The video also prompted an ABC Nightline interview about censorship, and MuchMusic in Canada banned the video as well – until they launched a new series, Too Much 4 Much.

Two Door Cinema Club, “Handshake”

Two Door Cinema Club had heads rolling with their video – literally.

The band’s Sam Pilling-directed, bowling lane-themed video for their 2013 single was considered too much at the time for MTV, which banned the video according to NME.

The video, which was filmed in a north London bowling alley, displays the band’s heads being chopped off by a man with a giant meat cleaver – and therefore deemed way too violent.

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