Erykah Badu has faced controversy for her video for the song “Window Seat,” but now she’ll face a criminal charge of disorderly conduct for it, as well.
“The City attorney’s office and the Dallas Police Department has decided to charge the entertainer known as Erykah Badu with disorderly conduct,” a police spokesman told the New York Daily News. “After much discussion we feel that these charges best fit her conduct when she disrobed in a public place without disregard to individuals and small children who were close by.”
The video was taped in a single take on March 13 in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza, the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. According to the Dallas Morning News, the video shows Badu parking in a vintage Cadillac along the side of a road and disrobing until completely nude while walking down to the plaza. A gunshot is heard before Badu falls to the ground as if she’s been shot in a reenactment of Kennedy’s murder. Blue letters symbolizing blood pour from her head as the words group think are yelled in the distance.
Dallas police initially said no witnesses to the video shoot had made official complaints, according to the Morning News,” but later said they had spoken to at least one woman who saw the filming. The Dallas Police Department and City Attorney’s office made the decision to file the charge against Badu.
“She can pay the fine, send it in and then the issue will be resolved,” the police spokesman told the Daily News.
The video was inspired by an alternative duo, “Matt and Kim,” who did a similar performance together in New York’s Time Square for their song, “Lesson Learned,” according to Entertainment Weekly. Badu said her video protests the character assassination that artists and others go through for being themselves.
Badu has defended her video, telling the Morning News she was attempting to conceptually link the president’s assassination with the character assassination an artist might experience after, “showing his or herself completely.”
“I would never disrespect JFK,” she wrote, according to People magazine. “His revolutionary thinking is my inspiration. My performance art has been grossly misinterpreted by many.”