“The increase in gun violence since the debut of ‘Jeremy’ is staggering,” Pearl Jam wrote in a Friday Instagram post. “We have released the uncensored version of the video which was unavailable in 1992 with TV censorship laws.”
The video, directed by Mark Pellington, aired in heavy rotation on MTV in the early 1990s, but has not been officially available in unedited form until now. It depicts a bullied teenager who commits suicide in front of his classmates; however, MTV modified a shot showing young actor Trevor Wilson placing a gun in his mouth. The edited version zoomed in so the gun could not be seen, but preserved the imagery that follows, showing Jeremy’s classmates covered in blood. The uncensored version restores the original shot, making the video’s ending less ambiguous.
The music video won four MTV Video Music Awards in 1993, including Video of the Year, but proved controversial following subsequent school shootings, and was largely dropped from circulation in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
Pearl Jam has also released an updated version of their “Choices” T-shirt from the early ’90s, with proceeds going toward supporting organizations that work to prevent gun violence. “We can prevent gun deaths whether mass shootings, deaths of despair, law enforcement, or accidental,” the band wrote in their Instagram post.
Earlier this year, Pearl Jam released Gigaton, their first studio album since 2013. Their planned North American tour to coincide with the album has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can watch the full “Jeremy” video above.
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