Madonna American Life Music Video
Region: United States
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Film Video
Confronting Bodies: Conservative Blog www.thedrudgereport.com
Dates of Action: 2003
Location: The United States
Description of Artwork: Madonna was planning her music video for the first single off of her new album American Life, in which she would depict a war themed fashion show.
The Incident: Before the release of the video, the Drudge blog attacked rumors of patently offensive scenes including one in which Madonna walked down the runway in a an army uniform, lit a grenade and threw it at Saddam Hussein who in turn caught it as it turned into a lighter and then lit a cigar for George Bush who was sitting next to him. Drudge said that the video was "the most shocking anti-war, anti-Bush sentiment yet to come from the show business industry."
Results of Incident: Whether or not the rumors were true, the original video was released for a short period of time in Europe without any of the rumored scenes and then a much more conservative version was released in America. Ultimately, Drudges comments created a controversy big enough to force Madonna to censor her own work.
Source: From Blatant to Latent Protest (and Back Again): on the Politics of Theatrical Spectacle in Madonna's 'American Life' by Martin Scherzinger and Stephen Smith