The video, directed by Paul Rachman, is striking in that it showed unvarnished images of homeless people around New York City. MTV wouldn't play it, but when Phil Collins released a stark video for "Another Day in Paradise
" with similar images of the homeless, the network ran with it. That one even got a Grammy nomination for Best Music Video; the Anthrax clip was rarely seen until the emergence of YouTube.
"That was a novel idea," Rachman told Songfacts
. "I was shooting a Method of Destruction video - it was a small video that was live. They were on the same label, Megaforce, through Island Records, and they had the same manager, Johnny Z, and the Anthrax guys were there. They'd already decided to hire me for 'Who Cares Wins.' They wanted to work with me.
They had this homeless idea. In the mid-to-late '80s, the homeless situation, it's dire now again, but back then it was very dire. They were everywhere, and it was intense. New York hadn't fully recovered from the fiscal crisis and the crime of the late '70s. It was still slowly emerging from it. The Tompkins Square Riots happened around then. Union Square had been closed off because it had become a homeless city. They surrounded Union Square with a giant chain-link fence and boarded it up just to keep people out so they could renovate it. So gentrification was starting, and it was really squeezing the homeless. In "Who Cares Wins," Anthrax really wanted to showcase the homeless problem.
That was a difficult video, because that's not an easy story to tell. It's a sad story - it's not like happy, cool, let's rock out. It's a serious issue, it's a serious song, and I treated it that way. So it had a dark heart, that video, rather than maybe a hopeful heart."