Censored Smithsonian Video Flagged “Inappropriate” on YouTube

Screencap of YouTube's blocking of the video (by author)

Hyperallergic tweep @remaerdyaD pointed out that David Wojnarowicz’ video, recently removed from the National Portrait Gallery’s Hide/Seek exhibition, has also been flagged as “inappropriate for some users” on YouTube, meaning that viewers will have to sign in to the website and check their safety settings before being able to watch the video.

I have to guess that YouTube’s decision to wall off the video was carried out in the aftermath of the conflict at the Smithsonian over religious imagery in Wojnarowicz’ work. The unbelievable part of this issue is that the imagery in the video itself really isn’t very explicit, nor particularly profane. As I’ve pointed out, the work is memorial in tone rather than satirical or angry.

If you get offended at blurry ants crawling over a blurry figure on a cross, I suggest you avoid watching such non-blocked YouTube videos as this one documenting the Chapman Brother’s work or this interestingly necrophiliac video found by Brent Burket. It seems like YouTube just caught wind of current politics and decided, unfortunately, to go with the flow and wall the work for its “offensive” potential. Happy NSFW day!

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