Why Did YouTube Censor This Video From Rapper Mykki Blanco?

YouTube removed a video by rapper Mykki Blanco, only to put it back online hours later after Blanco accused the site of "homophobia."

According to Billboard, Blanco's "Loner," off his self-titled debut, was taken down on Friday for not meeting the site's "community guidelines." YouTube didn't tell Blanco the exact reason why the video was removed days after it had gone live, but he believed it was due to the clip's queer imagery.

Blanco, real name Michael David Quattlebaum Jr., identifies as trans or multi-gendered and has used different pronouns throughout his career.

"[The removal of the video] has confused all parties who worked tirelessly to create the video from the producer to the team of directors who are both Queer," Blanco tweeted.

Blanco assumed "Lonely" was removed because of an erroneous comment thread on the video's YouTube page, which claimed that the video included a shot of a male scrotum. YouTube's community guidelines note that videos featuring "nudity or sexual content" are not allowed.

"But that is not so," Blanco tweeted, "and the flesh in question is a male human knee under a skirt."
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Blanco explained on Twitter that the removal of his video is another sign of unnecessary censorship of queer artistic expression.

"Our society grants hetero privilege to parade overly sexualized images of women for a cis male gaze yet Queer imagery is policied [sic], demeaned," he wrote. "I am deeply saddened that @YouTube have engaged in this kind of homophobic double standard censorship."

Blanco later posted a screenshot of the "scrotum" image in question, while posing a question to YouTube: "Why is Queer sexuality censored & policed but images for a Cis male gaze of sexualized women are not?"

It was a question many of Blanco's fans also wondered, tweeting, "#YouTube banned @MykkiBlanco's "Loner" music video for sexual content. This is NOT okay! #LGBTQ sexuality should be CELEBRATED, not HIDDEN."

"Rihanna has countless videos w/ nipples," another tweeted, "they could have just put the parental ad setting."

Blanco also posed that same argument. There are other artists whose videos include "sexual content" that have not been removed. "Again Queer artists who are *actually* Queer are policed, censored without question," he wrote, adding later, "Topless women with bare buttocks is acceptable, suggestive Queer imagery is banned, let's not over think [sic] this."

In a statement to Mic, Blanco said, "It is exhausting that as a queer artist not only do I experience homophobia in the entertainment industry, but also censorship for the unapologetically queer imagery I promote."

Blanco's video is now back online, but with a "content warning" that requires viewers to confirm that they understand this video is not suitable for all ages and wish to proceed before viewing. It's something that confuses Blanco's manager, David Swartz.

"We now wonder why this is necessary," Swartz told Mic. "Countless videos across the YouTube platform featuring overtly and blatantly sexual imagery (and actual nudity) are available with no requirement for age verification, so why is that so for this video by Mykki? Why does YouTube want to restrict access to this video? Why does YouTube see this video as any different than all those which have completely open access to users of all ages?"

YouTube has not respond to a request for comment.
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