Muse inadvertently ignited a firestorm of controversy yesterday (April 22) with their new music video, “Panic Station.” The clip features an image of the Japanese Rising Sun flag, which is commonly associated with that country’s imperialistic history.
The surreal and colorful video shows Muse running around the city of Tokyo in wild outfits, interspersed with shots of the band performing their latest single in Tokyo’s famous Robot Restaurant alongside animatronic dinosaurs and a purple fuzzy octopus. Watch below.
The clip caused controversy with its original title shot, which depicted the Rising Sun flag coming up behind the city’s skyline, causing many offended fans to comment on the flag’s connection to Japan’s imperialist past. In order to contextualize the argument, some compared the image to the Confederate “rebel” flag of the American South, and its connection to slavery and racism (see screen shot of the image below).
Muse was quick to respond to the outrage by immediately recalling the just-released video from circulation.
“Sorry for the mistake re the intro graphics for the ‘Panic Station’ video,” Muse said on their Twitter page after it was pulled down. “We are fixing it now. We will upload a new version very soon.”
True to their word, an updated version of the clip was posted a few hours later, with the offending Rising Sun flag replaced by the actual flag of Japan.
With the video controversy behind them, Muse continues their world tour in support of current album The 2nd Law, with dates across Europe before returning to America in late summer, starting with a North Carolina show on September 3.