After the director of one of his music videos was accused of rape, Shamir responded by prioritizing survivors over his work.
Taking to Twitter Wednesday morning, the Vegas-born musician announced that he had taken down the video for “Straight Boy,” the lead single off his upcoming album, Revelations (Father/Daughter Records, Nov. 3).
“It turns out the actor and director [Ryan Carpenter] in the video is an abuser,” he tweeted. “I know the irony.”
In case you don’t know “Straight Boy,” it’s a breezy, bittersweet song that lays bare a bunch of the ways in which straight boys, especially the white ones, fail to show care for their people and their communities. The video plays off that theme, showing co-star/director Ryan Carpenter co-opting Shamir’s sound and image for his own gain.
“Turns out out you can’t even find cishet guy thats not a shitty person to even play a shitty person,” Shamir continued tweeting. “above all im sorry to the survivors and thank yall for letting me know!”
My 3rd Album “Revelations” comes out in 12 days next friday Nov 3rd. This record helped me cope with shit that would otherwise leave the average person crippled with defeat. Life and spring time this year decided to join forces and jump my ass with a slew of personal tragedy thats still lingering on to this day, but the gag is YOU CAN’T KEEP A REAL BITCH DOWN, a Revelation i realized during the making of this record. I wanna thank @fatherdaughterrecs for being the best and if yall can, pre order the record because some of the proceeds go to the Mental Heath Association of Pennsylvania. SEE YOU NEXT FRIDAY!
In a statement to The FADER, the musician explained that he found out about the rape accusation through a YouTube comment left on his video, preserved here on Brooklyn Vegan. “when i saw the comment my heart dropped to my stomach. Obviously i approached him about it, and he left me with little to no explanation or piece of mind, and even seemed quite nonchalant about it, so i told him im taking it down and did so immediately.”
Hours later, Shamir uploaded a new “Straight Boy” video. He opens the clip by saying “Fuck sexual abuse. Fuck rapists.” before launching into a live performance of the song. The circumstances surrounding the video are undeniably horrible, but it’s heartening to see an artist prioritize survivors over their work.