Aguilera Too "Dirrty" for Thailand

Singer's new video draws protests in Thailand for references to country's sex trade
By Josh Grossberg Oct 21, 2002 10:25 PMTags

What a girl for her video to get airplay. Unfortunately for Christina Aguilera, her latest clip is too much for Thailand.

Government officials there are fuming over the pop diva's racy new video, "Dirrty," the Bangkok-based Nation newspaper reported last week.

The video shows the former Mouseketeer, clad in skin-tight chaps, thrashing around in the arms of well-oiled studs in a boxing ring next to a wall of posters.

But it's not Aguilera's R-rrated steamy bumps 'n' grinds or her revealing getups that have Thais in a tizzy.

Instead, it's an apparent potshot at the country's notorious sex trade that's ticking off officials. Those Thai-language billboards that Aguilera's gyrating in front of translate to "Thailand's sex tourism" and "young underage girls."

While Thailand is not exactly the cradle of virtue--the country is reputed internationally to be a haven for prostitution and pedophiles--Thais were shocked (shocked!) by the insinuations in the billboards, and, as a result, local distributor BMG Thailand has refused to air "Dirrty" on Thai television.

While it may be a low-down dirrty shame, government officials say they have their reasons, voicing their displeasure on the Nation's cable station.

Preecha Kantiya, acting director for Thailand's Commission on Contemporary Arts Office, explains to the newspaper that while local and foreign businessmen have profited handsomely off the country's illicit sex trade, they're reluctant to see it advertised in a pop star's video, fearing government regulation.

Technically, prostitution is outlawed in Thailand, but police generally look the other way and rarely make arrests. It's also no big secret the country attracts all kinds of pervs, including Eric Rosser, a former John Mellencamp keyboardist who was arrested last year by Thai authorities for possession of kiddie porn.

No immediate comment from the Aguilera camp on the Thailand tiff. (We're guessing she isn't losing too much sleep over it, though, as long as MTV keeps the clip in heavy rotation.)

The Thais aren't the only ones targeting the popster's new video. Last week, "Dirrty" was the subject of a uproariously brutal Saturday Night Live sketch, in which guest star Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing the singer, quipped: "When people see this, they're gonna stop seeing me as a bubblegum music industry ho, and start seeing me as an actual ho!'"

Aguilera next gets down and dirrty in a country known for rolling its R's, as she's scheduled to perform at the MTV Europe Music Awards set for November 14 in Barcelona.