Maroon 5’s “Animals” Music Video – Taking Things Too Far

When the name Maroon 5 comes to mind, we think of their iconic single “She Will Be Loved” from way back in 2002. The lead singer Adam Levine has since been labelled as a crooner, a pop star and a chart-topping singer/songwriter. You need to watch the entire video and listen to the lyrics to understand what I am about to say. 

This film clip is distasteful and offensive. Like many music videos today, it should not be so readily available via YouTube and other media outlets without some kind of censoring. The film clip should not be seen by underage persons, nor should anyone be subjected to the horrific imagery in public, as MTV, Channel V, MAX and the like are often displayed in pubs, restaurants, etc. 

My social preferences aside, let’s get into the video. The song describes the obsessive love that a man has for a woman. This alone is fine. The lyrics are racy, I have no problem with this: “Baby, I’m preying on you tonight/Hunt you down eat you alive/Just like animals”. It’s the video that I find so offensive. 

The use of blood and animal carcasses is gratuitous. Clips of butchering meat are gross. However, the worst sin of the video is that it endorses sexual assault and stalking by packaging these ideas in “sexy” gift-wrapping. 

The film clip suggests that we feel sympathy for the dorky male stereotype because a female is using her power of choice to ignore him. He then lashes out and begins stalking her by waiting in the rain presumably outside of her house, and says such things as “Maybe you think you can hide” while images of blood and flesh appear concurrently. This is NOT romantic or sensual, but disgusting and predatory. Where is the sympathy for the female character? Well, it doesn’t exist because she is the object of the (psychotic) male gaze.

An interesting film clip could have accompanied this song, not just bad horror movie excerpts, as it seems. Bring out the tissues, subtlety just died.