New York’s top radio station, Z100, is dying to play Britney Spears’ newest single, “If U Seek Amy.”
But first her label is going to wash the song out with soap.
“We plan to play an edited, super-clean version,” says Tom Poleman, senior vice president of programming for Clear Channel, parent of WHTZ (100.3 FM). “We’re just waiting for a good edit.”
“Amy,” the third single from Spears’ hit comeback CD “Circus,” has kicked up a firestorm over the title phrase, which when spoken rapidly spells out a crude sexual phrase.
While popular music has a long history of double entendre, this is more like a single entendre, since the phrase in the song seems to have no other meaning.
Jive Records, Spears’ label, has promised a re-edited version of the song that cleans up the offending line, said Sharon Dastur, Z100 program director.
“The record label will be providing the edit,” said Dastur. “They've been letting us preview some potential options to make sure it's appropriate.
“Last I heard, they were going to have Britney go back into the studio to re-record some tracks for it.”
The song caused some buzz when “Circus” was released, but it remained limited while two other songs were promoted as singles on the radio.
The controversy rekindled when the watchdog Parents Television Council (PTC) threatened to file indecency complaints with the Federal Communications Commission against any station that played “Amy.”
Clear Channel, which laid off 9% of its workforce this week, is hardly in the mood to finance an FCC fight right now.
Clear Channel CEO John Hogan also pledged before Congress several years ago, in the wake of the Janet Jackson scandal, to institute a “zero tolerance” policy on broadcast indecency.
Neither Spears’ camp nor Jive has issued any public comment. But record companies are rarely unhappy about anything that draws attention to their material, and Spears has thrived for years on sex controversies, personal and professional.
The Jive Web site currently features a video in which Spears gyrates on the bench in a sauna, without the apparent hindrance of clothing.