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M.I.A. Responds to French Soccer Club That Tried to Censor Her "Borders" Video

"When I make videos I end up on hit lists not end of year lists whyyyyyyy?"
January 11, 2016, 7:54pm
Still from M.I.A.'s "Borders" video, directed by the artist

Back in November, UK artist M.I.A. shared an explicitly political video for her single "Borders," in which she takes on the issue of Europe's refugee crisis, depicting asylum-seekers traveling on overcrowded boats and scaling massive barbed wire fences.

For just a handful of seconds in that video, she is shown wearing a modified version of the French football club Paris Saint-Germain's jersey, on which their airline sponsor Emirates' logo "Fly Emirates" has been changed to "Fly Pirates."

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Today, the artist tweeted a document sent from Paris Saint-Germain to her management on December 14, requesting the removal of all imagery featuring the shirt from not only the video, but any other media broadcast by the artist. Explaining the letter, they write, "We consider that the use of our brand and image in a videoclip denouncing the treatment of refugees is a source of discredit for our club and distorts its public communications policy." The letter also includes a formal request for "compensation for the harm we have suffered."

As of now, the video is still up on Apple Music, and it does not seem like M.I.A. is interested in taking it down. Invoking a previous incident in which she was sued by the NFL to the tune of $16 million for using the middle finger during the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show, the artist took the opportunity to comment further on the situation via Twitter:

She also posted an Instagram featuring the hashtags #controversy #fornoreason:

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