If Nicki Minaj‘s sexually charged, booty-exposing “Anaconda” video didn’t already grab enough pre-MTV Video Music Awards headlines, a real-live snake set to be used during her performance has created some slithering news.
During a Friday rehearsal, one of Minaj’s backup dancers was bitten by a 6-foot-long boa constrictor named Rocky who was being used as a prop during the song, MTV reported. Minaj was onstage and rushed to her dancer’s side after the bite occurred.
Even though the snake wasn’t venomous, the female dancer was treated at the scene where her wound was cleaned and then taken to the hospital to prevent a bacterial infection “out of an abundance of caution,” Chris Velvin, director of production safety for Viacom Media Networks, told MTV.
Velvin said an animal handler was nearby and removed the snake, a Dumeril’s boa constrictor that had worked in the industry for 15 years, from the set. “It is in no way life-threatening, but scary,” Velvin told MTV. “We wanted her to start getting treatment as soon as possible.”
The plan is to use a different snake for Minaj’s sure-to-be risqué act.
The singer’s rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment. MTV noted that the incident occurred when the dancer was carrying the snake draped around her shoulders. The song was quickly stopped and Minaj rushed over asking, “Did she just get bit by the snake?” MTV reported.
Fans of Minaj, 31, no doubt feel a VMA moment coming on as the rapper-singer steps up to headline Sunday’s show and tout her hit song – and its booty-baring, jungle-themed music video. The controversial, expletive-filled ditty even spurred Sir Mix-A-Lot, whose music she samples, to give it a Twitter shout-out.
Already, the Parents TV Council is urging MTV to give the show a TV-MA rating, as last year’s raunchy twerk-fest featuring a scantily dressed Miley Cyrus grinding against Robin Thicke generated scandalous buzz.