Published May 30, 2016Earlier this month, Beth Orton prefaced her latest LP Kidsticks with a new video for "1973." The clip features psychedelic scenes of Orton partaking in some colourful fun in the Mojave desert — but not everyone was laughing along.
A number of local activists online have pointed out that the video's set dressings violated protective legislation. Orton was captured on film spray painting cholla cacti and a Joshua tree, drawing criticism on social media and even spurring one California resident to start a petition demanding Orton donate to the Mojave Desert Land Trust.
The video for "1973" was directed by Tierney Gearon, though Orton has since issued a statement on Facebook apologizing and taking responsibility for her own involvement.
"I am so sorry," she said. "I feel sick with disgust. I was told the tree was already dead. I will take the video down now. Please let me know what I can do to help make some kind of amends. I did not direct the video and was following direction but now I know what I have been part of I feel utterly devastated and of course take responsibility for my part. I am truly and deeply sorry."
Other fans suggested a more compassionate route to reconciliation, inviting the singer to visit again and perhaps get inspired to write some new music about what she sees and learns.
The video for "1973" has since been taken offline.