An Iranian music streaming site is causing public uproar after it emerged they erase all evidence of women from the front of their own album artwork. A handful of notable new releases from the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift have had their covers altered to remove the women.
A look at streaming site Melovaz shows male musicians still present on their albums. However, there are no women present. In the case of Lana Del Rey’s recent release, she was removed while the male subject remained. So harsh are the conditions, that even a sketch of Nicki Minaj was removed from her artwork.
Rapper Iggy Azalea tweeted after the backlash, writing:
The jokes on them cause I put a vagina reference in every song so who really won.
The alterations are in line with the country’s strict Islamic law, with harsh restrictions on women’s self-expression. As Insider puts it:
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.
Insider reached out to Melovaz, but received no comment. Plenty of album covers currently remain on the site with female subjects censored.