Britney Spears asked to apologize for music video gun
September 26th, 2011
05:02 PM ET

Britney Spears asked to apologize for music video gun

Britney Spears has drawn ire from British officials after brandishing a fake gun in a music video shoot near London. Local politicians want an apology from the pop star for “promoting gun violence,” reports MTV.

In the video for her upcoming single “Criminal,” Spears runs out of a convenience store waving a fake pistol, accompanied by fiance Jason Trawick, who totes a duffel bag.

The controversial Bonnie and Clyde-esque scene was shot in the London neighborhood of Hackney, and officials there say Spears is encouraging violence in the wake of Britain’s August riots.

Ian Rathbone, of the Hackney Council, aired his grievances on news program “London Tonight”: "I think she should apologize and make a sizeable donation to a Hackney charity that deals with young people, in compensation for the rudeness and damage she's done to this community."

In a statement to CNN, Rathbone says he's standing by the remarks he gave to "London Tonight."

“I stick by my comments which were supported by young people also interviewed at the time. Gun crime has been reducing in the Hackney area. We don’t need some celeb running around with a handgun in a public street stirring things up again," Rathbone says. "What she did was illegal as she had not sought permission for what was apparently a late change of script and she also needed to notify the local police who would have wanted to have been present in such a situation. She is encouraging a lifestyle of crime, get something for nothing, or use a gun to get your way. I can provide the names of some charities in Hackney, and how she can help pay for a performance to be put on of a production called 'Frenzy' by a local theater group involving young people in the area in Hackney where a riot took place to help them express their views about what happened.”

The Council told "London Tonight" they did not approve of a replica gun being used in the video shoot. Hackney’s Member of Parliament Diane Abbott thinks Brit is behaving irresponsibly.

“It is only a music video but it’s images like this, with pop stars glamorizing gangs, which means that some young people… get drawn in,” Abbott said. “Britney should really know better.”

For her part, Britney tweeted that she had "a blast” in London, and her rep tells CNN, "The video is a fantasy story featuring Britney's boyfriend, Jason Trawick, which literally plays out the lyrics of a song written 3 years before the riots ever happened."

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    Actually, it is the whole world who owes Britney Spears an apology. Ill start the process. I am sorry Britney, Now the rest of you- its your turn.

    October 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bert

    Someone made a good point, she should have shot her video over here and provided jobs to AMERICANS! I don;t see any point to promoting gun violence & crime in a video- what is entertaining about that? Well, yeah, what is entertaining about her....LOL Just another messed up has been trying to make a come back when they don;t have any singing talent If she likes the UK so much, let her stay over there & do her drugs & drink & endanger kids and see how British laws will handle her as she pays their much higher taxes.

    September 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jennifer

    Um .... it's a music video and you have numerous people playing James Bond...'nuff said.

    September 29, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lamental Jester

    Sounds like Hackney Council is just trying to extort money out of Brit. I'm not a Spears fan, but come on, with all the violent movies the UK has made, they have a problem with THIS?

    September 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gus Smith

    LOL...The UK is afraid of its own shadow.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. mike

    It requires police supervision to carry a toy gun in London?

    September 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ME

    What is wrong with the death penalty ?

    September 27, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Linda

    Many misguided people–especially young people–admire and look up to Spears for some strange reason. Perhaps the British authorities fear that these easily influenced people will want to imitate Spears–just as they want to dress like her, etc. Spears loves attention and has often done outlandish things to get the attention she craves. Being morally responsible doesn't appear to be one of her traits so she's capitalizing on an always popular theme by pretending to be a criminal. It's called "artistic freedome" and the public is pretty much at its mercy. Best remedy–don't buy her music or watch her videos. Financially we won't be able to affect her but we'll feel better about not contributing to bubble gum pop cultue.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rock

    Get the London dumb b1tch

    September 27, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. humberto

    The Dow rallied 227 today because somehow the US dollar got devalued.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. 1ofTheFallen

    I demand an apology from the British Goverment and payment to a charity I choose because I saw a James Bond movie and Daniel Criag AKA(James Bond) was carrying a gun and killing bad guy. How irresponsible for Craig AKA "Bond" to go around promoting gun violence. Why couldn't he use super human mental skills to kill bad guys. I almost felt grabbing a gun a killing bad guys myself. Now he used super human mental skills to kill bad guys that would of course make all the difference. My super human mental skills need much more practive before I could even think of doing that. To the British Goverment my charity of choice for a sizable donation is the NRA.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. sharon peters

    was her gun loaded?

    September 27, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    How stupid .

    September 27, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. What?

    I don't get the connection between Britney Spears and gun violence? People who watch her videos are more likely to reach for Jerkens hand lotion than a gun. If she committed a crime over there, then they should charge her. Otherwise, shut the eff up.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. sarabell

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people!

    September 27, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  16. SmarterthanU

    Scratch Productions made a video for an musician that had to break her shell and did so through a Bonnie & Clyde theme. It worked because they made the artist seem 'watch herself as a movie'. There are ways around it.

    September 27, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  17. ragitator

    Britian should focus on their Muslim problem and stop blaming things for their problems. Little less inbreeding and some Dental schools couldn't hurt either

    September 27, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  18. Graham

    This is news? Right now I'm waiving my real gun in a convenience store! Buddy get you teeth fix and worry about real problems in the world. Especially rioting teens, that communicate via social networks who continue to flash mob and hurt England

    September 27, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  19. chris

    British Police are stupid......No Gun Violence did your FORGET JAMES BOND Movies Filmed in Your COuntry, You Idiots go have some Tea.

    September 27, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  20. Jeff

    Is she even relevant anymore?

    September 27, 2011 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  21. F. Bankks

    I don't care if she spits or swallows
    I would hit it hard and long.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
  22. Susan

    "children see it all the time in movies"- that does not make it right. Children are children and those that are fans of Spears and are not old enough to sort out music video "reality" & idolize her every move may think it is OK or cool to rob stores & wave around guns. If celebrities do things, they are promoting them in the eyes of some of their fans. I idolized a certain singer when I was a young teen & started smoking cigarettes to be more like him. Yeah, dumb, but I was a kid and was only thinking in the moment and idolizing a could do no wrong in my eyes singer.

    She should have had respect for local laws. She should have also shot her video in the USA, thus providing jobs to Americans.

    Heaven knows Spears is short on talent & even shorter on common sense and parenting skills, so how about lets give her a real loaded gun next time and hope for the best.

    September 27, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  23. jimmy

    The best way to handle this is to not shoot anymore videos in the UK

    September 27, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  24. Dalton

    it's just a Gun, i don't see why she should be blamed. who doesn't know a gun, children see it all the time in movies, or should movie producers be blamed too?

    September 27, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  25. Sokman

    I dont see why Brittney is being blamed at all. I would think the production company would be held to blame. She's merely an actor playing a role and the gun a prop, no different than if they were filming a movie. Why should she have to donate anything for doing her job just because she's a celebrity and rich? Also, I'm sure there were permit fees paid to be allowed to shoot the video. They should be able to make the video as they want, within the confines of the law. Lastly, whether you like her or not (I'm personally not a fan), Brittney is world reknown. I'm sure she drew a crowd during shooting and everyone around knew what was going on. A video crew kinda stands out, so I dont imagine she started a panic with a toy gun. Brittney would win in People's Court.

    September 27, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  26. Guy Kimble

    It's just a bunch of bull!

    September 27, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  27. Nigel

    I must say, I much rather prefer tea and bickies in the afternoon over pistol and bullets. It is simply exquisite. Cheers.

    September 27, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  28. stanky

    Britian should be happy with the revenue she created while shooting the video there.

    September 27, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  29. Just Another Observer

    Britney needs to apologize for even picking up a microphone. If we ban Auto Tune, she will have find another career.

    September 27, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  30. My story

    I would love for her to hold my gun

    September 27, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  31. duke

    Yes that is shocking,really...while britsh soldiers killing libians trying and successing in stilling Libyas oil..and nobodys talking about civilians now ha?

    September 27, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  32. Allie

    A kid pointed a water pistol at me, squirted me, and said BANG BANG. In wake of the recent riots, I think this kid should fully apologize and make a large donation in my name to a charity..........actually scratch that he should apologize and gimmie money.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  33. Silver Fox

    Britney, dont go apologizeing to thoes DAM britsfor nothing. You owe them nothing. Thay never apologize to anyone for anything period. The only ( Im sorry ) they get from me is the good old Califorina salut. We kicked them basterds out of our country ounce befor lets do it again.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  34. Adam

    Your all a bunch of trigger happy gun toting republican secret klan members. Its not suprising there is so much death here in the US with so many guns around. Guns and people whom breed with vegetables arent a good combination.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  35. aldo tomocene

    Guys, girls, ladies and gentlemen! Why so much comments on this issue? Its crazy, boring and unnecessary. Let the woman shoot her video, criticisms are to be ignored sometimes. Hell, all this because she's a celebrity or what? Man!!!!!

    September 27, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  36. Sassycat

    How rediculous! They just want the money...

    September 27, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  37. sum it up

    To England, sorry for a group of americans that have never been there but spout off ingnorance anyway... I have never been mistreated in all my visits as an american. Most times I've had some Vet buying a round to thank my father and grandfather for helping win "the war". Of all the places not to like...england is not among them.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  38. steph

    Wow, let's make a big deal out of nothing...

    September 27, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  39. Lio

    It is a video with a fake gun! Get a life Britian!

    September 27, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      It's their country, they get to make the rules. You need to get a life yourself.........

      September 27, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Lio

      Nancy you must be from Britain.

      September 27, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • ToneInNY

      They can just ban the video if it breaks one of their laws. Otherwise, all this attention just makes people want to see the video more. Mission accomplished, Britney.

      September 27, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • derp

      There is no law in Britain against making a video with a fake gun.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  40. Richard

    Not being a black rapper, she can't do things like that. Stupid leftist limeys.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  41. jj

    U got muslims running around with bombs..u r worried about fake guns? Although overall I like Britain...

    September 26, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Joey Spitz

    The British are such a bunch of sissy!, it was guns that kept you free from Nazi's and the riots would have ended the first night if you clowns had shown some firearms and not stood there watching the riot grow!
    Britney has nothing to be sorry for but you guys in England sure do and you should grow a pair.
    An armed free citizen isn't afraid,but then again you guys aren't citizens your SUBJECT's!

    September 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  43. britney

    I'm sorry Rhonda but I already said I was sorry. Sorry.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Rhonda

    Seriously??? They will need apologies from the movies, etc for their use of guns, weapons. Britney, dont apologize to anyone. You did nothing wrong or offended anyone.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  45. britney

    I'm sorry for shooting up your convenience store with my BB gun. I'm also sorry for taking some Marlboro Lights and some wine coolers. The check is in the mail. BTW I'm a spitter.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  46. ~*~'t think I ever saw you type so much on here.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Elster

    Sounds like extortion to me..! I doubt anyone would have noticed the gun if they hadn't pointed it out. The woman is not known for common sense. Look at the public criticism when she had her child unsecured in a vehicle..

    September 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  48. kb

    Brits have an extreme viewpoint regarding guns and knives. Yes, knives too. You can't carry a pocket knife and you have to be 18 to buy a kitchen knife. So I could understand the over-reaction UNTIL they guy asked for money. Which is when it became obvious that he didn't give two figs for the fake gun, he was looking for an excuse to fleece an American singer for money. Which makes his whole community look bad.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  49. joeblow

    A water pistol is a fake gun.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Moztecka

    The disgrace of America burns brightest.... I wonder what "damage" a usless pop-icon could do with a toy gun. Maybe if she was dressed as a police officer it would has been more to the like.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  51. CHaoZ

    I like how a donation would help them forget..
    what a freaking joke.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  52. @FIX IN TX

    Of course, being an in-bred backwoods Texan, you would support gun violence. You probably think the death penalty is OK too. are you also a Tea-Bagger? hmmmm?

    September 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky

      Actually, the tea-baggers I know in the southwest, are not gun owner nor are they about to be. I realize some conservatives are gun owners, but the truth is that not all conservatives are tea-baggers. Are you capable of understanding that, or are you just too busy freaking out about imaginary offenses?

      September 27, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • dm

      I love how he missed the whole tea batter thing. Priceless.

      September 27, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  53. Bustin Jieber

    Britney should apologize for even making music videos!

    September 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Looney Lucy 1


    September 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  55. dbl.j

    This isn't about Britney, this is smoke and mirror misdirection of the true cause!

    September 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  56. ariella

    this is rediculous. "sizable donation" . Is this a joke? I'M HONESTLY SPEECHLESS. I dont know how to respond to something so stupid

    September 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  57. dbl.j

    Their riot problems are from hundreds of years of global imperial tyranny, just like the problems in the rest of the world!!

    September 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  58. JohnLocke

    Don't get mad at anti-gunners, buy another gun! It'll drive em' nuts!

    September 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  59. JohnLocke

    Britain is a pathetic despotic police state. There is no freedom when a populace is unarmed and unable to resist tyranny. Only the young hoods have guns in Britain. The gun "violence" statistics are heavily skewed because they include self defense and police shootings. The real indicator is to look at is violent crime itself which is what gun violence really is, there may be less gun violence in Britain, but there is more violent crime. Does it really matter if a bullet killed you or a tire iron? Britain is not as safe as the United States! At least here you can have a weapon to defend yourself properly!

    September 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Madonnafan

    Madonna never needed to brandish a fake gun to make headlines.

    September 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Matthews

      Oh my gosh. I can't believe you're trying to get granny madge some publicity out of this. She is so last generation.

      Of course, so is Britainy...

      September 27, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  61. Marie

    Unfortunately, in 2011 you don't have to have real talent to be in the music business. All you need to do is put on a good dog and pony show: skimpy clothes, a lot of make up, big hair, and a fancy light show.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Rose

    It would be nice if she would make music that is more appropriate for her age, instead of that "teeny bopper auto tune" stuff. Coming from a musical background myself, she has no REAL vocal ability (I'm talking about being able to sing really well without all the studio tricks).

    September 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Queen Barbara

    Dear Great Britain: What is the alternative to defending you? Peanuts?

    September 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Ed

    She looks old and washed out.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  65. irnmtn25

    Wow...another reason not to like Britain. Europeans have become so weak in the knees....sad.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Vernon

    Does she spit or swallow? Anybody know?

    September 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  67. s00x

    They're getting mad just for a fake gun wow britan, spears is a AMERICAN celebrity not britan why get mad if its not ur music video get a life british

    September 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Anomic Office Drone

    She's still making music?

    September 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  69. James Narcine

    What a crock- so they don't watch movies that have guns in them?? Give me a break!
    Jim – USA

    September 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky

      Really? They hardly ever put guns in their movies or TV shows, unless they show them to be an absolute necessity. And the Brits I know don't like guns in their homes or emphasized in TV or movies. Everything doesn't have to center on guns and violence; from what I've seen, too much of that just seems to beget more violence. I'm not saying we all have to turn in our guns, but if the Brits want to limit guns, that is not our business.

      September 27, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • derp

      Do you even watch TV in England? The Sopranos was the top rated show in the UK at the time it was on. HBO's "The Wire" is one of the top twenty all time. Crime shows are annually in the top ten and three of the top five UK movies of all time are james Bond films.

      No guns, really?

      September 27, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  70. mido

    Why even bother wit the info.if britney wants to brandish guns,she shd go to afghanistan.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Edgar

    That's right and all Brightons shall apologize for their teeth.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Peter- New Jersey

    She is in their house and should act per their rules. British don't accept guns like we do in US. They think differently. Us telling them how to act or what to think is as rediculous as them trying to tell us Americans what is right here on our turf. We make the rules here... and they say what is right over there. BTW, who is smarter about guns? Us or the Brits?

    September 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canuk-eh

      Couldn't agree more Peter. I bet there are more deaths caused by somebody defending their property in Texas than the whole of UK and Canada on an annual basis. 2nd amendment notwithstanding. On the other side of the coin, it was only a video shot by a hasbeen teenybopper.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  73. FIX IN TX

    England has taken their gun ban too far when they get upset about a fake gun. in a music vdeo Get for real mates, your are just now allowing bobbys' to carry guns. So for the longest time, no homeowner could defend their lives', families', and/or properties due to this outrageous gun ban. Only the criminals had guns. What were the bobbys' supposed to do? Blow their little fraffic directing whistles and tell these gun toting criminals to "stop or I'll keep blowing my whistle!" Get for real England! You just want money fron Britney Spears to help keep your country outta debt! She owes you NOTHING!!!

    September 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |

      Wow so much anti UK..... glad to see all you Americans still love us! We are proud that we don't have all bobbies carrying guns.... and Britney should know better seeing as her music is loved by young kids....

      September 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky

      I live in TX, have owned a gun since I was 17, but I cannot defend Britney for this behavior. When I spent time in England, I felt much safer than I do in TX, and I went through a bomb threat and traveled all over including London. I'm also saying Britney knew the rules in the UK (or should have), and she is anything but a civilized rep of the USA if she goes to another country and flaunts the rules which make herself look like and idiot.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • derp

      If you feel safe in London, than you have not been in the places I have been. I have a friend who was a policeman in London and just went back to rural Scotland to be a small town local cop. The gun violence in parts of London is as bad or worse than anywhere in the US. Yeah, it's nice in the pretty tourist areas, but the Russian, Armenian and arab gangs are armed to the teeth, and the cops are overmatched.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  74. libyduck

    get over it!!

    September 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  75. cowboysblowgoats

    She should tell them to go fuzk themselves. Their riot problem is a result of them letting too many arabs in their country, not a gun problem.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Evel Knievel

    Stupid Limeys. Criticize her for being a hillbilly, but not for a fake gun.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      And yet.. gun violence in britain is a tiny fraction compared to the U.S. You really want to defend guns in america? Really??

      September 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Evel Knievel

      Yeah, really, I do. That's not what I did in the original post, but I do now that you mention it. Gun violence is typically tied to illegal drugs, which we are fighting a losing battle over and have been for 40 years. Legalize drugs and the majority of gun violence goes away.

      September 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Evel is actually correct. As far as statistics, Canada per household have more guns than America but has lower gun violence. The same goes in many other place in the world. This is just a politician getting in the paper, we see enough of that in the US.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Isn't that Bulling ?

      September 27, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Mac

      I've been to both the US and UK, the UK is safer and saner, the US is a dangerous place. All US cities are boarded up by 6pm and a simple walk in the park at night in the US is fear of muggings, rapes, murder etc.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  77. [lol]

    So when stuff gets blown up in movies or when people get murdered in movies should the producers of those movies apologize for promoting those types of activities?

    September 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Observer

    She should apologize to no one.


    September 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |

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