Holland’s Comeback MV Receives R Rating, Possibly For Gay Kiss Scene

Holland’s new MV was age-restricted, but why?

According to YouTube, Holland‘s new “I’m Not Afraid” music video is “R” rated, but it isn’t clear why.


The “I’m Not Afraid” music video expresses themes of community and belonging in a party setting.


The video dropped on July 5, just 9 days after Holland announced his comeback on Twitter.


Since June 27, Harlings have eagerly awaited “I’m Not Afraid”, not knowing that some of them would be kept from seeing its music video due to their age.


Soon after “I’m Not Afraid” dropped, Holland revealed that it had received an 18+ rating from YouTube, which prevented viewers under the age of 18 from seeing it.


According to YouTube’s community guidelines, viewers under the age of 18 are not permitted to view videos that contain the following adult content:


“I’m Not Afraid” does not contain vulgar language, violence, or what is typically defined as “disturbing imagery”. This indicates that the music video may have been restricted for either of the last two reasons.


In the video, Holland engages in a steamy makeout session during a party scene…


…and several actors kiss as well.


The music video also shows alcoholic beverages…


…and recreational drugs.


Many fans feel that YouTube is being discriminatory by giving Holland’s music video an 18+ rating.


If the video was restricted due to its same-sex kiss, this points to a double standard in YouTube’s regulations. YouTube does not restrict videos that contain heterosexual kiss scenes.


While many fans ardently feel that YouTube discriminated against Holland, other fans have pointed out that same-sex kisses are not technically against YouTube’s guidelines. This means that Holland’s video could have been restricted for other reasons.


The video may have been restricted due to the kiss’s sensuality, not its homosexuality, even though the kiss scene does not feature nudity.


If the kiss was not the reason for the music video’s restriction at all, this indicates that “I’m Not Afraid” was restricted for its drinking and/or recreational drug use.


Like “I’m Not Afraid”, “Neverland” initially received an “R” rating from YouTube.


It too features a same-sex kiss…


…and alcohol usage.


Although YouTube has not confirmed the true reason for the restriction, Holland’s comeback music video is no longer considered “R” rated. YouTube lifted its restriction shortly after Holland filed a dispute.


Holland is at the forefront of a budding LGBTQ+ movement in the K-Pop industry. Although he is the first openly gay idol, other artists like Tenny have been making their support for the community known through their music and music videos.


On June 26, just a day before Holland made his comeback announcement, Tenny dropped a controversial music video that featured kissing scenes between two women. Although the video received support from international viewers, Korean viewers had mixed opinions.

Korea’s First MV About Lesbians Gets Mixed Reactions From Netizens


Although LGBTQ+ representation still isn’t mainstream in K-Pop, idols like Holland are paving the way with their openness, activism, and music.

K-Pop’s First Openly Gay Idol, Holland, Wins “Dazed 100 2018” And Talks About Growing Up Being Gay In Korea


You can check out Holland’s “I’m Not Afraid” video here.