Singer Erykah Badu has been charged with disorderly conduct for recording her latest music video, “Window Seat,” nude in Dallas, Texas last month.
According to reports, Badu will receive a $500 fine for her actions on March 13.
Sgt. Warren Mitchell said Friday the decision to cite Badu for disorderly conduct — a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 — came after witness Ida Espinosa, 32, of Vernon, offered a sworn statement to police Thursday. Espinosa declined to comment to The Associated Press on Friday. “Having a fact witness that was there is what let us file the charges,” Mitchell said. “After much discussion, we feel that these charges best fit her conduct. She disrobed in a public place without regard to individuals and small children who were close by.” Mitchell said the department has had “people calling from all across the country to express their concern.” (Associated Press)
Badu also confirmed the disorderly conduct charge via Twitter.
“Are you watching , America?,” she wrote yesterday (April 2). “charged on good friday …..return of the ankh . 1 DOLLAR FOR EVERY NEW AMERYKAH PRODUCT SOLD AT GOOD RECORDS TOMORROW WILL GO TOWARD MY BAIL MONEY.THANK YOU . (kidding)but im just sayin the garment of any leader is his people . when stripped of his people his message is lost .” (Erykah Badu’s Twitter)
R&B singer Ryan Leslie shared his thoughts on the video earlier in the week.
“I followed the Twitter feed and her saying that the naked God is our purist God and if you have a problem with nudity, etcetera,” said Leslie. “There’s overtones of indecent exposure and the legalities of it, but I would want to know from Erykah exactly when she saw the Matt and Kim video, what inspired her to attach this video to the ‘Window Seat’ song, you know? I’m curious…The message [brings] some insight to the video. I just felt like there’s a lot more. I know some people make that argument, ‘Oh, is it artistic or is it just some lewd publicity stunt?’ I think it’s artistic, and it’s very serious artistic risk. So when someone takes that type of artistic risk, I’m interested in the discussion.” (VIBE)
The video’s director Chike broke down the underlying theme behind Badu’s visual earlier this week.
“It was also to tie [the JFK assassination] in,” Chike added. “He was assassinated there for what reason? There were reasons for his assassination that dealt with him doing things that went against the norm for positive reasons. People try to assassinate your character when you try to step against the grain. That’s where the gunshot in the video came. Also, she was inspired by the Matt and Kim video [for ‘Lessons Learned’], where they did something shocking in the end. I’ve actually been seeing way more positive reactions than I have negative reactions. That’s cool to see, just in the times today. I feel like five years ago, it might have been different. Society has grown, so we accept something like this more than normal, than we usually would.” (MTV)
Check out coverage of Erykah Badu’s criminal charge below: