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Kendrick Lamar’s BRITs performance censored due to sex and drugs references, says ITV

By | Published on Friday 23 February 2018

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s BRITs performance was censored on the award show’s broadcast by ITV due to drugs and sex references in his lyrics, rather than swearing.

According to the BBC, Lamar actually self-censored the swearing in ‘Feel’ and ‘New Freezer’ in a bid to avoid the broadcast of his performance being interrupted. However, large sections of ‘New Freezer’ were cut due to references to oral sex and drugs. As a result, TV audiences were left to mostly watch Lamar collaborator Rich The Kid smash up a car in silence.

A spokesperson for ITV said that the BRITs show is viewed by “a wide audience” and therefore the broadcaster has to err on the side of caution. “We have always used a short time delay and audio muting to deal with language viewers may consider unsuitable”, they said.

When it was originally assumed that the censoring was due to swearing, many questioned why Lamar had even been booked to perform on what is, after all, basically as an ITV programme. It’s not like they couldn’t check for lyrical swearing beforehand.

Despite ITV’s defence that it was cutting other references that might upset people at 10pm on a Wednesday night, the question remains why there wasn’t a conversation about Lamar’s lyrics before the broadcast.

Outside Lamar’s performance, this year’s BRITs was relatively censorship free. One “fuck” from Rag N Bone Man was cut early on in the show. Stormzy also apparently used some offensive Jamaican slang, which was missed at the time, but ITV said would be cut out of repeats of the awards programme.

Ironically, despite the heavy censoring of Lamar’s performance, Ofcom still received 74 complaints about it. Many of those people were seemingly offended by the smashing up of a Lamborghini while the rapper was on stage. It’s not clear how many people complained about Ed Sheeran’s offensively boring ballad.