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Annie Lennox calls for music video ratings system to protect children from 'dark' and 'pornographic' material

'You don’t want to see your seven-year-old girls twerking all over the place,' says the Eurythmics star

Annie Lennox has called for music videos to be subject to a ratings system, after speaking out against a recent spate of sexualised performances.

The Eurythmics star said she was concerned about recent "dark" and "pornographic" performances that risked "bombarding impressionable young girls".

She said: "I'm all for freedom of expression, but this is clearly one step beyond, and it's clearly into the realm of porn.

"How do you stop your kids being exposed to it? It's so powerful. You don't want to see your seven-year-old girls twerking all over the place."

She told Radio 5 Live that pressure from parents could help to establish "very clear boundaries" on acceptable standards in music videos.

She said previously on her Facebook page: "If a performing artist has an audience of impressionable young fans and they want to present a soft porn video or highly sexualised live performance, then it needs to qualify as such and be X-rated for adults only."

Lennox did not mention which pop stars her comments were aimed at, merely saying: "I'm disturbed and dismayed by the recent spate of overtly sexualised performances and videos. You know the ones I'm talking about."

Her comments add to a debate started by Miley Cyrus's recent performance at the MTV VMAs, during which the singer gyrated against Robin Thicke in a nude-coloured bikini.

Cyrus's latest music video for "Wrecking Ball", which sees the singer appear naked on a huge ball and lick a sledge hammer suggestively, has also received criticism for its overt sexualisation.

Rihanna's new video for "Pour It Up" was also banned by VEVO last week after just ten minutes due to its explicit content. The video includes Rihanna writhing against a chair while scantily-clad strippers dance in the background.

Lennox said she is not opposed to the singers, but thinks their content should be censored for age-appropriate viewing.

She said: "There is nothing wrong about our sexuality or sensuality per se. I'm talking from the perspective of the parents of those young fans. The whole thing is about their children's protection.

"Is it appropriate for seven-year-olds to be thrusting their pelvises like pole dancers? I really don’t think so. Boundaries need to be put in place so that young kids aren't barraged by market forces exploiting the 'normalisation' of explicit sex in under age entertainment."

Lennox's statement follows comments made by Sinead O'Connor last week, who wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus warning that the music industry will "prostitute her" for her body.

Lennox also warned that young female performers risked being exploited by the industry. She said: “It's depressing to see how these performers are so eager to push this new level of low. As long as there's booty to make money out of, it will be bought and sold.

"Their assumption seems to be that misogyny - utilised and displayed through oneself is totally fine, as long as you are the one creating it. As if it's all justified by how many millions of dollars and YouTube hits you get from behaving like pimp and prostitute at the same time. It's a glorified and monetised form of self-harm."