Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Homophobic music video by Armenian band VO.X disguised under "progressive ideas"

UPDATE 29 April 2011: VO.X frontrunner Aram Rian has re-edited and replaced the controversial portion of the band’s "I Love Armenia" music video, by removing the reference to homosexuality as “perversion”. We have reached a mutual understanding with the group and consider this matter resolved as dialogue has taken place. We no longer have reason to believe either Aram Rian or VO.X is homophobic, and we wish them success in their future endeavors.
When I first read about this new music video by partly British based Armenian band VO.X and then saw it on Facebook, I was intrigued to check it out, as the premise of the video - the way it was described - sounded interesting: ‘important social messages communicated via Britpop style Armenian music band’. However, when I watched it, my main conclusion was that this is homophobic music video disguised under ‘progressive ideas’. Here is an example of that "progressive idea": homosexuality is a "perversion" by crossing over pictures with gay and lesbian persons. This reduced the value of all other messages, however important they may sound, like human trafficking or poverty, to zero.

Shame, really.

Personal or religious beliefs cannot be considered as an excuse for spreading hate and homophobia. And no, this has nothing to do whatsoever with the concept of freedom of speech. Do not even get me started with the lamest 'I can't be a homophobe as I have gay friends' line.

As this group is partly British-based, I do hope that the British embassy in Armenia and British Council will not support any event or performance with VO.X.

If you know or learn about the upcoming gigs or performances of this band in Britain, please do let me know. The least I can do is to send a complaint letter to any venue/host they may have in the UK.

I have also put VO.X into Armenia Homophobia Hall of Shame.

I do not know how consistently and systematically YouTube uses its own community guidelines, but this music video is a clear breach of their rules re hate speech. If you have not yet reported this video, you may do it there. (I did report it yesterday. I am aware that other people reported it too.)

"We encourage free speech and defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But we do not permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status and sexual orientation/gender identity)."
All these actions will remain in place as long as this music video is being circulating the way it is now. I would also be interested to know who sponsored the production of this video.

And finally, about using Yeghishe Charents poetry in this video... To hijack Charents and use his poetry against homosexuality (and few other 'phenomenon', as people from VO.X like to call it) is not only beyond any ethical norms but a hipocrisy at its worst.

P.S. As I was making this post, I noticed that today this originally uploaded music video has changed its settings and is now set as “private”. But it's being premiered over Armenian TV channels yesterday. The video is now re-uploaded and available here:


Anonymous said...

funny how you can't add comments to this newly uploaded version of the video... I think VO.X is clearly aware of the issues people have with their video. I guess now they chosen to engage with neither those who support them nor those who take issue with their message.

artmika said...

Post by Global Voices Online:

Armenia: Music video homophobia concerns

You may report (flag) this video here:

Katy said...

And the song and video aren't very good anyway.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Actually, tedious, monotonous and, um, crap are the words I'd use... ;)

Anonymous said...

STOP manipulate with your understanding of tolerance!
Great band, great people, and great music. Vo.X I am proud of you, keep going!

MMK said...

and why always the "right" people are anonymous:)
people cant understand where is the limit of freedom of speech.
We have to stop hate speech and nobody can stop us, well done Mika.
Hate promoter should give up!

Anonymous said...

Vo.x are great.

MMK said...

yeah great hate promoter (and again anonymous, writing and running away:) )

artmika said...

Armenian music band VO.X on PR defensive to 'justify' homophobia

Anonymous said...

I might be a bit late to comment to this, but I only came across it today.

I watched the video, and it offended me. Homosexuality = perversion? You have got to be kidding me! Everyone can be a pervert: straight or gay! But you do NOT go and promote homosexuality in general as perversion. That is just wrong on so many levels!

I flagged it as well.

oh and the 'you' I used here is in general and not directed to a specific person.

artmika said...

It's never late. Thanks for your support.

artmika said...

VO.X “official disclaimer statement” re music video “I love Armenia”. Satisfactory? You decide

Anonymous said...