Maroon 5’s Gross Video Will Do the Band More Good Than Harm

Maroon 5 is getting slammed for its creepy new music video that romanticizes a nightmarish vision of stalking an unsuspecting woman. The video for the single “Animals” sees lead singer Adam Levine dressed as a hipster butcher who likes to hug carcasses and stalk a girl, played by the Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo, who Levine is married to in real life. Levine follows Prinsloo’s unknowing character around, sneaks into her room while she sleeps, secretly takes pictures of her, and fantasizes about having sex with her while blood pours down on them.

The sexual assault awareness group RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) issued a statement saying that the video encourages and glamorizes stalking, a topic that when removed from the context of gorgeous people in a music video is horrifying, rather than sexy. “Maroon 5’s video for ‘Animals’ is a dangerous depiction of a stalker’s fantasy — and no one should ever confuse the criminal act of stalking with romance,” said Katherine Hull Fliflet, RAINN’s vice president of communications. “The trivialization of these serious crimes, like stalking, should have no place in the entertainment industry.”

Fans posted similarly horrified reactions on Twitter, saying that the video promotes violence against women and is overall just terribly creepy.

Even the lyrics are disturbing: They see the song’s narrator threatening a former lover about how she’ll never be able to get over him, and that he in fact can smell her from miles away and always knows what she’s up to. Otherwise, the song is a typical bit of Maroon 5-style radio-friendly pop-rock.

In a bizarre twist, the video is getting support from a different group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Ben Williamson, a spokesman for PETA, told WENN that the video does a good job of showing how the horrors of the meat industry turn people with jobs like slaughterer or butcher into psychopaths.

“Actually, we think Adam does a very convincing job of making slaughterers look deranged… If anything, the video doesn’t go far enough in showing the bloody horror of the meat industry and the misery that animals endure before their carcasses end up on a meat hook or butcher’s chopping block… We’re all ‘animals’, but anyone upset by the bloody scenes in the video had better opt out of real life violence by choosing to be a compassionate, vegan animal!” Williamson said.

It’s a bit of a stretch to say that the video’s gross scenes of Levine hugging dead cow carcasses really encourage people to be vegan, but it doesn’t exactly make one long for a steak that could have one of Levine’s armpit hairs in it immediately afterwards, either.

As often happens, the band will likely benefit from the press surrounding the controversy more than anything. Maroon 5 has just come off an appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, where the band performed “Animals” along with its other single, “Maps.” “Maps” is currently sitting at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 while “Animals” has climbed to No. 7. The increased attention has only made more people click on the weird video and helped “Animals” become the group’s second single to move up the charts from its new record.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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