On July 4th, a devilishly handsome, crooning, thirtysomething R&B singer released a music video featuring topless women, and no, it wasn’t Robin Thicke. Justin Timberlake, perhaps taking a page out of Thicke’s book, released a video for his song ‘Tunnel Vision‘, only to have to briefly removed from YouTube due to its explicit content.
The video features Timberlake singing in front of a stark background while nude models dance and gyrate around him. It is reminiscent of Thicke’s unrated video for ‘Blurred Lines’, which also features scantily clad women. It is the SFW ‘Blurred Lines‘ video, however, that has scored 77 million views and has helped the song become #1 in America. Whether or not JT was actively ripping of Thicke or simply acting as all sexy R&B singers do is up for debate.
At first, YouTube struck down the explicit version of ‘Tunnel Vision’, an unsurprising move given the video’s explicit content. However, later on in the day, ‘Tunnel Vision’ returned to YouTube, albeit behind an ‘adult content’ wall. Unlike Thicke, Timberlake has only uploaded an explicit version on his official channel. Obviously, it’s NSFW.
Is YouTube’s treatment of ‘Tunnel Vision’ indicative of its new policy? If so, Thicke should get the NSFW version of ‘Blurred Lines’ back on YouTube so that he can reap even more views from the catchy single. ‘Tunnel Vision’ and ‘Blurred Lines’ seem to indicate a trend towards headline-making music videos that have a good chance to go viral, a trend proved by the constant display of hashtags during Thicke’s video. Since video views can push an artist up the Billboard charts, YouTube can expect to deal with a lot more scandalous videos in the near future.