Offender: Eminem, “We Made You” video
Media Outlet: Video released 4/7/09 by Shady/Interscope Records, produced by Dr. Dre
The Offense: Eminem’s first video in almost five years features parodies of Gov. Sarah Palin, Ellen DeGeneres, Jessica Simpson and other well-known women. The video presents former vice presidential candidate Palin as a highly sexualized caricature. In one scene, Eminem is seen pushing a woman celebrity, head first, into a woodchipper.
NOW’s Analysis: Rapper Eminem has never been a feminist favorite, what with the hostility he’s expressed toward women (including his wife and mother) in his music. But this video is pretty much anti-woman from beginning to end. It ridicules a number of women for their weight, appearance and hunger for celebrity. The character based on Gov. Sarah Palin is so sexualized that she appears to have dropped in from a pornographic movie. It’s almost impossible to imagine a male vice presidential candidate portrayed in such an insulting and exploitative manner. Eminem can’t seem to resist violent imagery, so includes a scene with him pushing a character based on reality TV star Kim Karsdashian into a woodchipper. Money spits out of the woodchipper, as if to say that committing violence against women is a profitable gig. When big media conglomerates fund videos like this and eager media outlets air them, unfortunately it is. But it’s time for it to end.
Take Action: Write to Universal Music Group (the parent company of Eminem’s label) and tell them what you think: email@example.com. If you see the video on any cable network, like MTV, write to them, too!
Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director