Is Britney Spears glamorizing gun violence?

Making a new Bonnie and Clyde–themed music video, the pop star brandishes a fake gun — and provokes the ire of British politicians

Britney Spears holds up a convenience store with a gun in her latest video, "Criminal."
(Image credit: Facebook/Britney Spears)

Britney Spears has been critiqued for being too sexy, too wild, too careless — but too violent? The pop star's latest music video, for the song "Criminal," takes on a Bonnie and Clyde theme. Spears filmed portions of it late last week in East London, brandishing a fake gun as she pretended to rob a convenience store. After photos leaked, local politicians began demanding that, in light of August's riots, the singer apologize and make a donation to a youth charity, arguing that she's glamorizing gun violence. Is she?

No. This is being blown way out of proportion: "Way to get your knickers in a bunch," says Alexandra Capotorto at Ology. It's not as if Spears has gone on a public campaign extolling the virtues of gun violence. "She was clearly filming a video." The alarmists in the local government should "stop exaggerating" the circumstances "and go have some tea and crumpets."

"Britney Spears in trouble for carrying a (fake) weapon"

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This seems more thoughtless than malicious: Spears' production team should have done its homework, says That Grape Juice. It's unwise wise to film a crime-themed clip in an area where "over half of teen deaths are gun and knife-related" — especially since the backlash could hurt her career. Given the sluggish sales of Spears' latest album, the last thing she needs is for this video to be banned.

"Britney Spears comes under fire for 'Criminal' video shoot"

And it is too soon to pass judgment: The criticism of Spears isn't frivolous, says Katherine St. Asaph at Pop Dust, but it is premature. The video isn't even out yet, "and for all we know it'll be some extended cautionary tale" that ends with Spears renouncing crime completely. Let's wait and see before we judge.

"Some British politicians don't like Britney's 'Criminal' gun"

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