AceShowbiz - Ava Max's pop hit "Sweet But Pyscho" has been criticised for stigmatising "negative perceptions of mental health".
The song has topped the charts in 15 countries including the U.K. And in the video for the track, the Albanian-American singer, real name Amanda Ava Koci, controversially plays an axe-wielding woman obsessed with a man. However, according to editors at the Daily Mail Online, her depiction has attracted criticism from a U.K. organisation committed to preventing suicide.
In an open letter to the star, organisation Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) described the promo clip as "a package that helps to encourage and support stigma".
The Alliance continues: "The track's lyrics and associated promo video (which features scenes of irrational violence and threat that involve a baseball bat, darts and knives) casually underline negative perceptions of mental health – in short it's a package that helps to encourage and support stigma."
In the video, 24-year-old Ava portrays a woman obsessed with a man who she sees kissing another woman. She then drugs and terrorises him with a variety of weapons.
"We understand this may not be intentional but even when it is not intended, perpetuating existing stereotypes has a disproportionately negative influence that reinforces stigma; and stigma is bad. It's oppressive and alienating with life-threatening potentiall," continues ZSA.
"Stigma encourages people to close down, preventing them from seeking help. Worse still, stigma can stop suicidal people from reaching out when they are at their lowest, most vulnerable point."
Ava has not yet commented on the backlash.
To date "Sweet But Pyscho" has been streamed 268,765,814 times on Spotify and put the singer, who has collaborated with David Guetta, on the map. Ava recently shared in an interview that she is working on her debut album, and is keen to show "everybody the next side of me."
"Yes, they've seen the 'Sweet But Psycho' side and they've seen me being like that, but I want to show them more of a real side," she said in a chat with the Irish Examiner.