The music website apologizes for "insensitive and irresponsible" footage.
The indie music website Pitchfork has retracted a controversial video it produced with Chief Keef in which the teenage Chicago rapper is seen firing guns at a gun range.
The video, first released in the spring, drew immediate criticism for glorifying gun violence and reinforcing negative stereotypes. Pitchfork initially stood by the video but has now changed its position in light of a recent spate of murders in Chicago, including the shooting death of Keef's 18-year-old rival Lil JoJo.
In a statement, Pitchfork president Mark Richardson said the clip, which was part of a hip hop series called "Selector," was "insensitive and irresponsible" and "never should have happened."
"Pitchfork's roots are in Chicago and many of our employees and several contributors live in the city," Richardson wrote. "The horror of the gun violence that has plagued our hometown is something we all take very seriously. Many people have pointed out that this episode could be seen as trivializing gun violence, and we feel they have a good point."
Yesterday, Keef himself drew backlash for laughing off the death of Lil JoJo on Twitter.
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(Photo: Chief Keef/Facebook)