Madonna Aiming for Anti-War Statement
By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
The Associated Press
Monday, February 10, 2003; 4:14 PM
Madonna is courting controversy again - this time with a violent music video that her publicist says depicts the "catastrophic repercussions and horror of war."
"It is an anti-war video, but the purpose of the video, as with a lot of Madonna's work, is to be thought provoking," publicist Liz Rosenberg said Monday.
"It is many other things as well" as anti-war, she said.
The Web site The Drudge Report reported Sunday that the video was "the most shocking anti-war, anti-Bush statement yet to come from the show business industry," complete with images of Iraqi children and bloody limbs.
But Rosenberg said, "I'm not going to say it's specifically anti-Bush at all." She said there were no pictures of Iraqi children or bloody images, though the latter could change in post-production.
The video, directed by Jonas Akerlund, is "a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna," Rosenberg said. It also speaks to the glorification of war, she said, starting off as a runway show of couture army fatigues.
"(Then) it just starts to go haywire and goes into other things ... it kind of takes it into a more violent direction."
The "American Dream" video is expected to premiere in mid-March; Madonna's new album is due April 22.
Madonna is an expert at creating controversy with videos. In 1989, religious images in "Like a Prayer" led Pepsi to drop her as a spokeswoman. In 1990, MTV refused to air "Justify My Love" because of its sexual content. Two years later, it relegated "Erotica" to early morning hours, and in 2001, VH1 and MTV would not air "What it Feels Like For a Girl" because of violence.
Rosenberg said that despite the new video's imagery, the song itself is not anti-war.
"The lyric content to the song doesn't reflect that at all. There's a line in which Madonna sings about 'I live the American dream,'" said Rosenberg. "It's things like that, about what the culture thinks is important."