Sabrina Carpenter has reacted to the news that a New York priest was disciplined after permitting the pop star to film her newest music video inside his church.
The former Disney Channel star, 24, filmed parts of the music video for her song “Feather” at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Annunciation Parish, a Roman Catholic Church in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn.
In the video, several men fight over Carpenter and eventually kill each other. Their pastel-coloured coffins are displayed upright in the church, while Carpenter sings and dances in a short black dress.
Shortly after the video was released last month on YouTube, pastor Monsignor Jamie J Gigantiello was stripped of his administrative duties for failing to follow policy on allowing filming on church property.
The Diocese of Brooklyn said that it was “appalled at what was filmed” in a statement to the Catholic News Agency.
Speaking to Variety in a new interview, the Girl Meets World alum responded to the controversy, saying that she had received “approval in advance” to film at the church, before adding: “And Jesus was a carpenter.”
In a Facebook post shared on 6 November, Gigantiello apologised to parishioners, writing: “Undoubtedly many are upset over what has transpired. No more than myself.”
He explained that a local video crew had approached him in September about filming a music video for Carpenter at the church, and that his online research into the singer “did not reveal anything questionable”. He said he approved filming as part of an “effort to further strengthen the bonds between the young creative artists who make up a large part of this community”.
Although he gave his permission for filming to take place, Gigantiello maintained that “the parish staff and I were not aware that anything provocative was occurring in the church nor were we aware that faux coffins and other funeral items would be placed in the sanctuary. Most of the video was supposed to be filmed outside, near the church, which it was”.
The $5,000 the parish received for allowing the video to be filmed will be donated to Bridge to Life, Gigantiello said.
“After much prayer and reflection over the last few days, I have come to the realisation that this maybe God’s way of calling me to reflect on my great number of responsibilities in order to discern His will,” he concluded.