Really, you wonder if the Parents Television Council is secretly letting MTV write its press releases. Nicki Minaj's butt-heavy video for her new single Anaconda (why, yes, it does sample Sir Mix-A-Lot) dropped today, and the hip-hop artist's outfits and dance moves already have the PTC outraged about the VMAs, despite the fact that the broadcast is several days away.
"Given the explicit video," said a statement from the group, which included a helpful link to a site hosting the video, "the Parents Television Council said that if her performance at the VMAs is anything like her new video, then the show must be rated TV-MA."
The VMAs will probably be rated TV-14, as usual. MTV had no comment.
The rating of the VMAs is a particular bee in the PTC's collective bonnet this year. Earlier this week Tim Winter issued a statement demanding that MTV "commit publicly" to a pledge authored by the PTC saying it wouldn't show "explicit sexual content," apparently as defined in relationship to Miley Cyrus's much-discussed twerking performance last year, in addition to agreeing not to violate its own standards, as the PTC claims it did in '13.
So why is the PTC getting bent out of shape over this? Well, it could be because the organization has logged something of a precipitous decline in donations over the last few years. The most recent form 990 available has the organization bringing in $2.7 million for 2012, with a little more than $2.5 million coming from donations. As recently as 2008, the organization was seeing about $4 million in donations, and the thing that keeps watchdog groups funded is presence in the public eye.
Here's our prediction: If you watch the Anaconda video (see below, or really, just look at Tumblr any time in the next two weeks for GIFs of the jiggliest parts), you will notice the presence of a Beats Pill, one of the many endorsements Minaj has logged over a barely five-year career bursting with sponsors, legitimate and otherwise, lining up to be associated with her music and her persona. Minaj, like many of the artists at the VMAs, is on a Universal Music label (three Universal Music labels, in fact). Jimmy Iovine, co-founder and chairman of the big kahuna of Universal labels, Interscope, just sold Beats by Dre to Apple earlier this year, and more or less every Universal artist appearing at the VMAs last year got teased by computer-generated Beats Pills being, well, pills about whatever it was they were doing on stage during the awards.
So we suspect that not only are you probably going to see Minaj perform a rough approximation of her sexy video, you're probably going to see a Beats integration during the A pod when the network cuts to commercial because if the VMAs are about one thing, it's commercial synergy. Minaj's album drops in Q4, and that is also when Apple expects the Beats deal to close.
It's too early to say what exactly Apple will do with the Beats purchase, but their headphones sure do suck and it's hard for a brand to shake that association. Beats is likely to help with that, and Minaj is likely to boost the Beats brand yet further, especially after everyone gets an eyeful on Sunday. Sorry, PTC, the free market isn't on your side on this one.
And now, butts.