Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine has a new video out for the song “Animals,” in which he plays a butcher who stalks his real-life wife, model Behati Prinsloo, breaks into her house and watches her while she’s sleeping, and plays around with animal blood while fantasizing about her. It’s basically your normal, modern-day love story, right?
“Baby I’m preying on you tonight, hunt you down eat you alive,” are the first words in the song, and it only gets worse from there. We see Levine obsessing over surveillance photos of Prinsloo in his meat locker serial killer bunker, following her as she walks down the street, standing outside her apartment in the rain and taking photos of her, walking into her apartment while she sleeps and taking photos of her. She rebuffs his advances at a club, then we see them having sex under a fountain of blood (in Levine’s mind, I think; consent isn’t really addressed here).
This is not an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
Another poetic lyric in the song: “You think that you can hide. I can smell your scent for miles.”
Levine has a lot of young female fans, and on Twitter, many of them commented on how “hot” and “sexy” the video is, and how they “wouldn’t mind” having a stalker as hot as Levine.
But others have zeroed in on how troubling this reaction is, and how it normalizes and romanticizes the stalking, voyeurism, and violent sexual fantasies Levine’s “character” indulges. As Lainey Gossip explained in a blog yesterday:
When a guy is obsessed with you to this extreme, it should never, EVER be sexy. And if there’s any hint of sexy in that message, any whisper of it, any chance that someone could interpret it that way, any sliver of a chance that someone could possibly think that STALKING IS BAD BAD BAD, isn’t the message fundamentally wrong? Why do we keep condoning it, especially if that guy is – allegedly – good looking and a rock star?
There’s little in the way of edge or creativity here. A rich pop star wanted to make a video where he has sex with his wife. He gets to play a “character,” and act out obsessive fantasies. He gets to compare a woman to prey, as an object to be taken without consent. Are we giving him an out because he’s the Sexiest Man Alive?
And on top of that, this song is a hot piece of Auto-Tuned garbage.
Screengrab via Maroon5VEVO/YouTube