Madonna Responds To Controversy Following Release Of Her ‘Disturbing’ New Music Video, God Control

'To me, this is the biggest problem in America right now'

Madonna, God Control

by Emily Watkins |
Updated on

Madonna’s latest album, Madame X, was released earlier this month to wide acclaim – then, June 26th saw the pop legend drop an eight-minute music video for one of its tracks: God Control. After a warning of graphic content, the camera opens on the singer in costume as a night club visitor whose evening rewinds to reveal a gruesome massacre on the dance floor. Typing the lyrics as they’re sung, Madonna’s message is driven home from two directions – on the page and in its soundtrack: ‘Get the kids ready, take them to school/ Everybody knows they don’t have a chance/ To get a decent job, to have a normal life./When they talk reforms, it makes me laugh/ They pretend to help, it makes me laugh/ I think I understand why people get a gun.’

WARNING: This video contains graphic scenes of violence

A spate of highly-publicised US mass shootings has recently refocused the world’s eyes on American gun laws – some of the most permissive on the planet, the country sees approximately 100 citizens a day killed with guns. Speaking to People, Madonna explained: ‘To me, this is the biggest problem in America right now… I cannot take it anymore.’

While the cause might seem hard to argue with (outside NRA circles, sure), God Control hasn’t skirted criticism – Patience Carter, survivor of the 2016 Pulse night club shooting in which 49 people were killed and 53 injured, described Madonna’s graphic depiction of gun violence as ‘insensitive’. In interview with TMZ, Carter explained her position as that of someone ‘who actually saw these images, lived through these images’, saying that ‘I get that she was trying to bring awareness to gun control but I don’t think that was the right way to go about doing it.’

Meanwhile, activist George Takei tweeted his support: ‘Thank you @Madonna for supporting @1Pulse4America. You are a much welcome voice in the battle for #GunViolencePrevention and #GunControl.’ Gays Against Guns, similarly in favour of the controversial clip, tweeted ‘THANK YOU @Madonna for supporting our grassroots queer activism and shining a light on the epidemic of American gun violence.’ Despite its mixed reception, Madonna stands by her creative decisions in the video. In interview with People, she spoke about the power of its shock-value: ‘Seeing the reality, and the brutality of things makes you wake up. This is really happening. This is what it looks like. Does it make you feel bad? Good, 'cause then maybe you will do something about it.’

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