Britney Spears Refuses to Apologize for 'Criminal' Music Video Controversy

Randee St Nicholas

The pop star has responded to complaints regarding a replica gun used on the London set.

Following the horrific London riots that occurred earlier this summer, Britney Spears has sparked controversy while shooting her “Criminal” music video in England’s capital city.
The video, showing Spears and her boyfriend Jason Trawick robbing a store at gunpoint, offended members of the local council of the London borough where it was shot.

PHOTOS: MTV VMAs 2011: Red Carpet Arrivals

In a statement to the TV news program London Tonight, the Hackney Council said: “It’s images like this, with pop stars glamorizing gangs, which means that some young people… get drawn in.”

"In this case we did not agree that a replica gun could be used at Stoke Newington Town Hall and we are disappointed. We will be raising this matter with the production company," it continued.

VIDEO: MTV Video Music Awards: Britney Spears' Iconic Career Celebrated by Music Industry

Though council Member Ian Rathbone suggested that Spears should apologize and "make a sizable donation to a Hackney charity that deals with young people," he appears to be out of luck.

In a response obtained by MTV News, Spears’ team remains unapologetic about their creative decisions. "The video is a fantasy story featuring Britney's boyfriend, Jason Trawick, which literally plays out the lyrics of a song written three years before the riots ever happened," the statement read.

Spears is currently touring Europe in promotion of her Femme Fatale album. The pop star is expected to return to London on Oct. 27-28 for two performances at The O2.