Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Billy Ray Protects Your Children


Let me begin by saying that I am a hypocrite. I have misled others while expecting honesty in return; advocated for generosity while being selfish with my own money; and quietly judged the choices of my peers while attacking those that would dare to reciprocate. With that out of the way, I would like to bring to your attention the recent professional exploits of Billy Ray Cyrus.

In 1992, he shot to fame with the number 1 country single Achy Breaky Heart which propelled his debut to 9X platinum status. He released several subsequent albums, with varying degrees of commercial success, before rebooting his career through Disney’s hit show Hannah Montana. Staring and often signing alongside his daughter Miley, Billy Ray found himself again in the public eye. Since leaving the show, Miley has become synonymous with twerking, nudity, and the overall sexualization of young girls.

Meanwhile Billy Ray placed some of his energy into the non-profit censorship organization Parents Television Council of which he is a member of the Advisory Board.  The board’s current campaign specifically attacks “female sexualization” and the “unprecedented levels of hyper-sexualized media content” and decries “the consequences for a generation of young girls.”

In the past, the group has repeatedly criticized YouTube for not being effective enough in removing offensive content and launched a campaign against fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. for airing a commercial featuring Paris Hilton in a swimsuit because it was “very suggestive and titillating.” The group was among the most vocal in calling for the swift punishment of CBS for the infamous Super Bowl XXXVIII half-time show.

So imagine my surprise when I am informed that there is a hip-hop remix of Achy Breaky Heart, on YouTube, featuring Billy Ray surrounding by provocative women. The video begins with Larry King informing us that there is an unidentified space-craft over Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. This cuts to footage of Billy Ray walking alongside a young boy carrying a fishing pole. Soon enough, the pair are captured by the alien craft where they (and by extension we) are subjected to three solid minutes of varsity-level booty claps and intergalactic partying at the hands of an alien race exclusively populated by voluptuous twenty-year olds with an extremely limited clothing budget. Your move Carl Sagan.
Billy performing aboard the SS Decency
While the video for Achy Breaky 2 is neither the most offensive or misogynistic music video in heavy rotation on YouTube, I am willing to bet that it is the only one featuring a board member of the Parents Television Council. How exactly can he continue to solicit charitable donations to fight the over-sexualization of women in media while actively working for its proliferation? I felt like I had uncovered a dog-fighting tournament sponsored by the Humane Society.

The only thing that could have made this worse is if Billy was late for an advisory council strategy meeting for their new campaign because “Dancing Woman Number 4” needed help readjusting her electrical-tape thong. He even name-checks his daughter’s controversial music video “Wrecking Ball” which, as of this writing, still remains the most ambitious attempt to mainstream the nude-demolition movement.

This is still America, and if you want to star in a music video while surrounded by a bevy of extraterrestrial cleavage that is your choice, but please have the decency to stop doing so while simultaneously condemning a hamburger franchise for unnecessary “titalization.”   

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