So Madonna has gone and made a controversial music video called “Girls Gone Wild,” directed by fashion power photogs Mert & Marcus. What’s so provocative about it that you need to enter you birthdate (psh) to watch it on YouTube?

…Dudes dancing. Dudes kind of rubbing on each other.

To this we say: what the shit? Banning used to mean something and–back in the day when music videos were shown on television–it had tangible consequences. Now, we’re sure “family activist” groups are worried that watching this Madonna video will turn you gay (which we’ve tried; it doesn’t work!), but there’s absolutely nothing edgy or frightening or upsetting here (or even interesting!). Let’s visit some music videos that really earned the shit storm they stirred up.

A note on watching these at work: don’t. Better safe than sorry. We don’t know know what kind of workplace you have, so we’re not going to speculate on the safety of watching each specific one. They’re controversial for myriad reasons (yes, some of the reasons are stupid) but there’s nudity, gore, violence and weird shit throughout. The slideshow itself, however, is safe for work.

Let’s begin!


And a note on banning: like we said, now that music videos don’t get played so much on television, “banning” doesn’t have the same illicit stigma it once did. The worst thing that can happen now is requiring viewers to enter their birthdate to watch it on YouTube or, worse, look for it somewhere else (like Vimeo). Which is to say, some of these weren’t technically “banned.”