Iran Arrests Producers Over Controversial Music Video | Arts and Culture News
Iranian authorities have arrested several music producers linked to a California-based Iranian pop singer, according to his management company and Iranian media, as part of Tehran’s latest effort to end what it considers decadent Western behavior .
Wednesday’s arrests come as Iranian social media has been flooded with criticism of the new music video for popular underground Iranian singer Sasy or Sasan Heidari Yafteh.
Called Tehran Tokyo, the video features actresses, including an American pornstar, circling in kimonos and short bodycon dresses on top of cars and inside bars. The clip racked up 18 million views in one week.
Over the years, Sasy has become known for his controversial words which Iranian conservatives see as tarnishing the country’s moral probity. In a previous song also featuring a porn actress, he asked teens to take alcohol injections if they couldn’t fall asleep and scroll down Instagram instead of completing their homework.
In Iran, where the government maintains strict control over traditional media like newspapers and television, authorities have used the courts to patrol social media platforms beyond their reach.
Hours before the video went live on Wednesday evening, Iranian security forces arrested two popular music arrangers who worked on the song in the southern town of Shiraz and raided their studio, the director said. de Sasy, Farshid Rafe Rafahi, CEO of EMH based in Los Angeles. Productions. The brothers, Mohsen and Behrouz Manouchehri, now face prosecution in a Tehran criminal court, he added.
A week ago, the teaser for the song, featuring famous porn performer Alexis Texas dancing to the club’s Farsi pop, fueled such dismay among the public that authorities vowed to investigate the app that was streaming. the video. Soon, guardians of conservative morality in Iran clamped down on those associated with advertising or producing the clip.
“It’s pretty crazy, she dances like anybody else in any ordinary music video, she doesn’t do anything inappropriate in these scenes,” Rafahi said, referring to Alexis Texas.
“Sasy’s mission isn’t to wreak havoc, it’s to make people happy.”
Iranian media confirm arrests
Semi-official news agencies in Iran confirmed several arrests on Wednesday, alleging that Sasy’s associates in Iran had produced “contrary to culture” music.
The Fars news agency also accused music producers in Iran of running gambling sites at Sasy’s request. Rafahi said the gambling accusations stemmed from a misunderstanding, as a poker website helped sponsor the music video.
Sasy is now a permanent resident of the United States and has lived in exile since quitting his career as a successful underground rapper in Iran in 2009. Since the video’s release, Iran has vowed to “carry on with his business. with international judicial authorities ”, according to the Fars report.
While extremists view the song as a Western attack on Islamic teachings, thousands of people across the country take a different view. In the grip of the lively rhythm, dozens of young people posted videos on social networks in lip sync, dancing and posing in Tehran Tokyo in their living rooms, kitchens and workplaces. In the clips, many women wear shiny lipstick and few cover their hair with the hijab.
Iranian semi-official news agencies reported that those who “cooperated with Sasy” would face “decisive legal action”. It is unclear whether the police arrested any of the lip-syncing fans as well.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution installed the system that endures today, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards have extended its reach into most aspects of Iranian society, with laws prohibiting women from dancing in public or from dancing in public. appear outside without the hijab.
Authorities have cracked down on music in the past, for example, by arresting young Iranians who appeared in videos dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song Happy in 2014.
Under pressure from extremists, the Iranian government has long blocked access to various websites and social media platforms, from YouTube and Facebook to Twitter and Telegram.
Young Iranians are still running around workarounds, going to social media to share Sasy’s banned songs through VPNs and proxies.