John Ondrasik, the Grammy-nominated Five For Fighting singer, has had his new music video that shows footage of President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan censored and removed by YouTube.
A search for the song shows a lyric video and a still image video that plays the tune, called “Blood on Your Hands,” but no longer features the original video Ondrasik posted.
Abandoned to Taliban
Afghan Brothers in Arms 200K
Women Rights Decimation 20M
Children sold for food
Accountability – 0
— John Ondrasik (@johnondrasik) January 3, 2022
Best known for hits like Superman and 100 Years, Ondrasik announced the removal of the video on his Twitter account.
Ondrasik acknowledged the video might face criticism because it contained images of Taliban aggression. He placed a “graphic warning” disclaimer when YouTube inserted a child content restriction.
“YouTube has taken down the video due to a violation of Graphic Content Policy,” he wrote.
— John Ondrasik (@johnondrasik) January 7, 2022
“To not show said Taliban atrocities in any artistic statement on Afghanistan would be a gross injustice to the victims and enable the Taliban’s ongoing persecution of 40 million Afghan citizens,” Ondrasik added.
The censorship occurred after the video had reached more than 250,000 views, according to Ondrasik.
“That YouTube took down the video after five days, as it was growing in reach, should concern anyone who values free speech and advocacy for humanitarian causes,” he noted.
Ondrasik has accused YouTube of monetizing other content containing similar aggression by the Taliban. The singer said he had done his own searches, revealing similar content still available on the streaming site.
However, Onrasik’s song features lyrics heavily critical of Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.
“General Austin, is there no honor in shame?” Ondrasik asks in his lyrics. “Can you spell Bagram without the letters in blame? Did Uncle Joe stick a drip in your veins?”
President Biden receives a direct rhetorical lyric in the end, “Got blood on our hands/Hey Joe, just one American/Asking what’s happening.”
YouTube’s response to an inquiry about the censorship said, “We’ve passed this along for review. Hang tight!”
Ondrasik has since posted the video to the site Rumble.
“There is a great tradition of artists speaking their minds and calling out their leaders for answers. Many of those have been inspirations to me,” he shared in a press release.