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Just Say No to ‘Maybe,’ Dunn Asks : Broadcasting: Don’t play my new single, country singer requests. Critics says ‘Maybe I Mean Yes’ invites rape.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Country singer Holly Dunn has asked radio and video programs to quit playing her new single after a furor over the song’s coy lyrics, which some critics have called “an invitation to rape.”

The three-time Grammy nominee has also decided to stop performing the song, “Maybe I Mean Yes,” in concert, according to her record company, Warner Bros. But the song will remain on Dunn’s “Milestones” album, which was released Tuesday.

The controversial song--co-written by Dunn and released three weeks ago--has been the target of complaints by feminists and country music fans across the country, prompting at least two radio stations to ban the record.

Sample lyrics from the song:

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... Nothin’s worth havin’ if it ain’t hard to get

So let me clarify so you won’t have to try and guess

When I say “no” I mean “maybe”

Or maybe I mean “yes”

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In a statement released late Thursday, the 33-year-old singer said she decided to pull the record because she did not want her music to be “misused or misunderstood.”

“From the beginning, this song was written to be a lighthearted look at one couple’s attempt at dating, handled in an innocent, non-sexual, flirtatious way,” Dunn said in the statement.

“My co-writers and I stand by our original intent 100% and believe the misunderstanding may stem from the recent focus in the press on the subject of rape and date rape and the raised public awareness to this issue.”

Feminists and rape crisis workers who attacked the record earlier this week applauded Dunn’s decision.

“This is a very brave move,” said Tammy Bruce, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women on Friday. “I think it shows an extraordinary realization of responsibility on the part of this artist.”

Maria Allen, crisis intervention coordinator at the Rape and Sexual Abuse Center in Nashville, agreed.

“We feel Holly has made the right choice,” Allen said Friday. “Because if even one rape had been encouraged by the song, that would have been one too many.”

“Maybe I Mean Yes"--aired regularly on 134 out 203 radio stations that report to Radio & Records--has been rising steadily for three weeks on Radio & Records country chart, according to Ken Barnes, senior vice president and editor of Radio & Records.

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“The subject of rape is an important issue that needs to be discussed,” Dunn said in the statement. “And if my song has served as a vehicle towards that discussion, then perhaps that is the silver lining to this controversy.”


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