American rapper Sean Kingston’s song ‘Beautiful Girl’ is about a girl so beautiful that he is afraid that their relation will never work: “You’ll have me suicidal, suicidal – When you say it’s over.” But on the MTV show ‘Total Request Live’, Sean Kingston’s summer hit is less dramatic since ‘suicidal’ is left out in the chorus.
According to the American newspaper the Daily News the reason why you will never hear the s-word on MTV is that suicide might be something many members of the channel’s audience are struggling with. “We do not take any references to suicide lightly”, a spokesman for MTV told the Daily News.
MTV also informed the Daily News that they don’t have a list of words that are automatically censored. Instead, the lyrics are studied contextually to avoid racial epithets, obscene language, illegal or violent behavior.
Sean Kingston’s record label has produced two versions of ‘Beautiful Girl’ – there is the original and also a version substituting ‘suicidal’ with ‘in denial’. Most radio stations play the original version, but some has chosen the changed version. However – when MTV asked the label if they wanted them to audio drop ‘suicidal’ or rather would submit an edited version of the song themselves, the label chose to audio drop ‘suicidal’.
NY Daily News – 20 Aug 2007
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MTV silenced Sean Kingston’s lovesick lyrics