Madonna American Life Music Video

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Date: 2003

Region: United States

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


Artist: Madonna

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