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On October 17, 2011, Britney Spears released the Criminal music video, the last single off Femme Fatale. It was directed by Chris Mars Piliero, who had previously directed I Wanna Go. The video was shot in the streets of London, right before she started the European leg of her Femme Fatale Tour. She said in an interview for AOL "I've never shot on location out of the country of America for a video. So, it should be very interesting. It was partly my idea ... to see if it could to happen, and they were like, 'Yeah, it's a great idea,' so we did it." A few days before the production began, the details of the video leaked, as wells as the people they were casting for a role in the video which included "hot girls" for the fiance to be with at the party, a "chubby grocery store clerk", "male cop", "Chief of police" and a Britney body double. Jason Trawick, Britney's boyfriend at the time, was also in the video. According to Chris Mars, casting Jason for the video was Britney's idea, and he also revealed that he was hesitant about it, since he considered that a real actor would do a better job. He told USA Today: "When you're doing nudity, I don't think it was at the top of Britney's list to bring in some random guy while her boyfriend watches. [...] We definitely wanted to make some passionate, steamy scenes, but we also wanted it to be intensely beautiful. We didn't want to go for raunchy. We wanted it to be sensual and steamy." After images of Britney holding a gun replica during the filming of the video surfaced, a lot of controversy sparked in London for "promoting gun violence" after the riots that had occurred in England earlier that year. They wanted Britney to apologize for the video, but instead her team released a statement saying that "the video is a fantasy story featuring Britney's boyfriend, Jason Trawick, which literally plays out the lyrics of a song written three years before the riots ever happened." Chris Mars commented about the controversy "Holding the gun became a controversial thing 'cause we filmed it in London, and they don't have a lot of gun use out there. That doesn't mean that there's no gun use, so I did find it really interesting. For me, the thing is, it blew me away that members of [the British] Parliament were speaking about this. One, because it's a music video, and two, because don't you guys have television shows out there that show crime? It's really strange to me. I don't understand why pop stars are put on such a high pedestal over other celebrities. Why do members of Parliament feel that they need to scrutinize her for having a gun, and 'She's in the public,' and 'She should know better,' and 'She's a role model,' but what about every other celebrity out there? What about every other actor? That's very strange to me. I was really surprised at how much the gun use was scrutinized. Jason plays a professional criminal, so it makes sense he has a gun. We shouldn't censor ourselves." The video received mostly positive reviews, some finding the scenes of physical abuse surprising and her acting a bit stiff, but she also received comments such as "We can't honestly remember the last time Britney Spears looked so gorgeous in a music video" and deemed it as the best video from Femme Fatale." Upon its release, the video was flagged on YouTube, and only registered people above 18 years old were able to watch it. This hugely affected its performance in views compared to the previous Femme Fatale videos, which had been rapidly become the most watched videos on her channel. It wasn't until 2013 that the flag was removed, and it started to slowly get more and more views. Around 2016, it gained more popularity as a lot of fanfic videos of Harley Quinn and the Joker from the film Suicide Squad featured the song, and in recent years it went viral again due to a Tik Tok challenge. The video hit 100 million views in March 2019.
On September 30, 2011, Britney Spears released Criminal, the fourth and final single off her seventh studio album Femme Fatale. Produced by Max Martin and Shellback, it was written by them in 2008 with additional writing by Tiffany Amber. Britney told MTV News that after she first listened to the song, she felt it was different and unlike anything she had heard before. The version of the single, Criminal (Radio Mix) differs from the album version and it was later included on B in the Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2. It was the first single released under RCA after it absorbed Jive Records. It has never been performed live. On August 5, 2011, Britney posted on her Facebook a poll to select Femme Fatale's next single. The other options besides Criminal were Inside Out and (Drop Dead) Beautiful. It peaked at #55 on the BH100 but it reached #19 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. It went #1 in Brazil and it was Top 20 in many other countries, such as Poland, France and Spain. The music video was released the following month, but we'll celebrate that later ;) In December 2011, an EP of remixes was released: