A sexually-suggestive viral video of a 6-year-old boy cavorting with bikini-clad women was just a "joke," said the director, who defended his role in shooting the footage for the kid's parents.
In the video, which has since been pulled from YouTube, the boy is sandwiched between two bikini-covered backsides as he sings: "I can make your booty pop, booty pop, booty pop." He later holds a water gun near his crotch and douses a dancer. Florida authorities refused to say if the boy's parents or anyone else involved in the video are being investigated.
"It's supposed to be a joke, but I'd say [only] about 30 percent of the people watching it find it funny," Tyler Council, president of the Florida-based Froze-N-Time Productions, told the Miami New Times. "But I still don't regret it."
The video drew outrage throughout the blogosphere, with some critics in the African-American community calling for the parents of the boy, who is not being identified by FoxNews.com, to be charged with child abuse.
"I can’t even begin to wonder what the motivation behind this video and song was, or why so many adults thought it was cool," read a blogpost in Vibe.com. But watching [the boy] sing of making a grown woman’s booty pop while a half-dozen of them dance around him in the pool, just made me sad.
"Though the young boy did not utter a profanity, [he] certainly participated in a video that most responsible parents would find repulsive and inappropriate for an adolescent child," wrote BlackAmericaWeb.com.
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Child abuse or entertainment?
Appearing on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow called the video “sexual abuse of a 6-year-old boy by the adult women who participated in making the video, any producer involved, and his parents.”
But clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Macari, who also appeared on the show, said calling a video shot in admittedly poor taste "child abuse" cheapens the plight of real victims.
“We cannot blur the lines between what is and what isn’t child abuse," Macari said. "When we do that we take away from the very resources that we need to help the true kids who are being victimized.”
Erin Gillespie, a spokeswoman for Florida’s Department of Children and Families, said she could not confirm or deny that an investigation had been launched into the video.
“If a call was made to the [child abuse] hotline with an allegation of neglect or abuse, we would definitely investigate it,” Gillespie told FoxNews.com.
The boy's parents, meanwhile, who live in Oakland Park, Fla., paid “peanuts” for the video, Council said, declining to be more specific.
"He's just trying to imitate his idols that he hears on the radio," Council said. "There's no touching going on; there's no drug abuse."
Attempts to reach the parents were unsuccessful.
The controversy surrounding the video echoes that of “Hounddog,” a 2007 film starring Dakota Fanning in which the 12-year-old actress was raped by an actor played by 12-year-old Cody Hanford.
FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report.