- Some social media users are calling out at an Iranian music site that appeared to censor nearly all female artists from their own album covers.
- Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Lana del Rey were just a few of the female artists who were obscured or completely removed from their album covers.
- Others, including Lady Gaga and Lana del Rey, were removed while male figures on their album covers appeared otherwise unedited.
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Angry fans of some of music’s top female artists took to Twitter to voice their confusion and disappointment over an Iranian music streaming site erasing the faces of female artists from their own album covers.
Twitter user @IzzRaifHarz was one of the first to post about the edited covers across Melovaz that included several examples where the albums were missing their central figures, including Camila Cabello, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé, sometimes featuring smoke or blurs in their place.
Others like Lana del Rey’s appearance on her album cover was also scrubbed, but the male figure was left seemingly unedited.
—i untuk izzi (@IzzRaifHarz) September 29, 2019
One quick glance over the site shows dozens of male artists featured on the site’s homepage unedited, while female artists are missing from the covers of playlists and albums listed under their names.
After culture news account @PopCrave posted about the uproar, rapper Iggy Azalea quoted the tweet and took a jab at the site, writing that “The jokes on them cause I put a vagina reference in every song so who really won.”
—IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) September 29, 2019
The edits are a major symptom of the harsh restrictions on women’s self-expression, especially in music, that are institutionalized in Iran under Islamic law. The country maintains under the law that it is illegal under most circumstances for a woman to be seen uncovered, and in this case, that seems to apply to women who don’t outwardly practice Islam, and aren’t physically in the country.
Azalea’s point about the content of her songs going untouched highlights the site’s discordant policy on the materials that it allows users to stream and download.
Melovaz did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment, but at least dozens of edited album covers remained on the streaming site as of Monday morning.
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