Maroon 5’s “Sugar” Controversy and Why Everyone Needs to Relax


If you’ve been on social media at all this week, you’ve probably seen the buzz about Maroon 5’s new music video for “Sugar,” the third single from the band’s fifth LP, Animals. Gaining inspiration from Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, the band members surprise seemingly unaware brides and grooms by performing at their weddings (fun fact: the video was actually directed by the same man who directed Wedding Crashers, David Dobkin). The video starts off with Adam Levine explaining, “We’re gonna drive across LA and hit every wedding we possibly can. It’s gonna be awesome.” At each wedding, a crew rolls in and sets up a stage, hiding the band behind a big white sheet. Guests look puzzled until the big reveal at which point everyone there obviously loses it because its freaking Maroon 5 playing at their wedding. The range of reactions is quite entertaining: some of disbelief, some people yelling expletives out of sheer joy. Then follows a pretty entertaining compilation of classically awkward wedding dancing.

During a press release, Levine explained, “It was an out of body experience. I had no idea I would be affected by the overwhelming reactions we received from the couples and guests. Being able to create an unforgettable experience for several people was the highlight of it all.” According to Rolling Stone, Levine and Dobkin are old friends and have been planning on collaborating on a video for the band since its early years. Of the shoot, Dobkin says it was “literally lightening in a bottle.”

The funnier part to come out of this whole “surprise” video shoot is the reaction from angry fans. According to many out there on social media, this video is “controversial” and people have gone as far as saying they are “outraged.” Because they had nothing better to do, internet sleuths took it upon themselves to investigate whether the band’s claim of “surprise” was in fact true.

According to them, a few of the brides and grooms in the video are actually known performers; one of the brides was apparently on a cycle of America’s Next Top Model. The parents of the Asian bride in the video wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, “We played the parents of the Asian bride and yes, everything was staged. In fact, all of the weddings were filmed at the same location over 3-day period.” However, a rep for Maroon 5 told ET that the grooms knew about the performance, saying “However they disclosed it to their bride and the wedding party, we're not sure, but they all wanted it to be as equally a surprise as we did."

The stories don’t match up. And to some people, it’s a travesty that keeps them up at night. I say, it’s a cute music video to an average song by a good band; lets focus our energy on something that actually matters.

The irony in all of this is that prior to the video release, “Sugar” was the least popular of the three singles off Animals. Since the release, the song has jumped to #8 on the Hot 100. The YouTube video boasts over 50 million global views in as little as a week after its release. As they say, any press is good press. Maroon 5 is no stranger to controversial videos either. Their video “Animals” has been criticized for promoting sexual violence and animal abuse. Here’s my take on “Sugar”: Everyone chill. It's music. It's art. It's Adam Levine. Move on.

Check out the video for yourself and see what you think: