Pop star Sabrina Carpenter jokingly dismissed the backlash to a lewd, violent music video she filmed in a Brooklyn Catholic Church that led the bishop to reconsecrate the sanctuary.
“We got approval in advance,” the 24-year-old Carpenter told Variety on Wednesday when asked about the controversial shoot inside Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-Annunciation Parish in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “And Jesus was a carpenter.”
The video for her song “Feather” stoked outrage for depicting a scantily clad Carpenter surrounded by coffins and dancing in front of the altar, which was adorned with a bottle of liquid marked “RIP,” a doll that says “Good Girls Go 2 Heaven,” and a book titled “Tampons Should Be Free.” One of the coffins was emblazoned with “RIP B—” beneath a cross.
The video, which also features gory scenes reminiscent of slasher horror films, has amassed 12 million views on YouTube since debuting on Halloween.
Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan said he was “appalled” by the video, and Monsignor Jamie J. Gigantiello was stripped of his administrative duties following an investigation by the diocese, though he still performs Mass at the church.
While the parish reportedly claimed the production company behind the video was not forthcoming about the provocative content of the video, the diocese determined that “a review of the documents presented to the parish in advance of the production, while failing to depict the entirety of the scenes, clearly portray inappropriate behavior unsuitable for a church sanctuary.”
In response to Carpenter’s desecration, Brennan and other leaders in the diocese performed a Mass of reparation on Nov. 6, which involved blessing the sanctuary with holy water, as well as stripping the altar and reconsecrating it.
Gigantiello was apologetic following the fallout, asking parishioners to forgive him in a Nov. 6 letter. He claimed he thought the shoot was going to be taking place outside, and that he and church leadership were “not aware that anything provocative was occurring in the church, nor were we aware that faux coffins and other funeral items would be placed in the sanctuary.”
The monsignor noted that “in an effort to further strengthen the bonds between the young creative artists who make up this community and the parish,” he agreed to the filming after a “general search of the artists involved did not involve anything questionable.”
“While I take full responsibility for the erroneous decision to allow the filming, I want to assure you that I had no knowledge that such a scene would be filmed in our church which we worked so hard to restore to its present sacred beauty,” he wrote, adding that the Blessed Sacrament had been removed from the church prior to filming.
Gigantiello also noted that the $5,000 the church received for the video was donated to Bridge to Life, a nonprofit pregnancy center that has a relationship with the Brooklyn Diocese.
Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to [email protected]
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