Snoop Dogg has inadvertently gotten himself wrapped up in controversy after starring in a music video that has inspired a lawsuit from the Indian Zoroastrian community, alleging that the clip features blasphemy and should be banned. The video for "King" comes from Iranian-American pop performer Amitis, and features the rapper sitting on a throne, smoking a joint with the religious imagery in the background, which brought allegations of blasphemy.
"The wrong use of religious and sacred symbols and iconography hurts, insults and outrages the religious sentiments and beliefs of Parsi Zoroastrians," read a statement from a representative for the group.
All signs suggest that the imagery was simply the result of laziness, versus intent to offend. The video features Amitis and Snoop living the regal life amid stereotypical ancient Egyptian aesthetics, with strippers thrown in for good measure. The questionable symbol hanging behind Snoop is a Faraharvar, a Persian symbol featuring the god Ashur with lengthy wings and tail feathers. It's likely that designers meant to use the popular Egyptian "winged sun" symbol to fit with the theme...but screwed up. You had one job to do, guys.
The Calcutta Zoroastrian chapter is aiming to have the vide removed from circulation. Whether they have any legal standing is debatable.
Pop musicians may want to consider hiring consultants before going with an Egyptian theme. Katy Perry ran into religious controversy of her own when she released the video for "Dark Horse," featuring the star as an Egyptian queen on a mean streak. One suitor was wearing a number of medallions, one of which happened to read "Allah" in Arabic. Perry vaporized the man, which led to angry fists from Muslim fans. The medallion was edited out of the video.