Controversy is nothing new to Madonna. With her provocative performances, videos, and lyrics over the course of her lengthy career, she has constantly pushed limits – and raised eyebrows. When the singer of “Justify My Love” debuted her music video for the song “Like a Prayer” in 1989, it caused one of the artist’s biggest scandals.
The video, which includes a Black Jesus and burning crosses, caused a lot of controversy at the time and even earned Madonna a reprimand from the Vatican. Additionally, it led Pepsi to abandon a $5 million pop star advertisement campaign.
The Maker of The Video Claims that Madonna Intended to “f*ck a Black Guy on The Altar.”
The goal of the “Like a Prayer” music video was to make viewers feel something. In the video, Madonna witnesses a bunch of white males killing a white woman. Instead, a Black man who steps in to assist the woman is detained and charged with murder.
While she mulls whether to come forward as a witness, Madonna hides in a church. The arrested man appears as a statue of a saint in the church and comes to life. Before finally heading to the police station and announcing the man’s innocence, Madonna kisses the saint, gets stigmata, dances with a gospel choir, and performs in front of a field of burning crosses.
In the video, Madonna collaborated with filmmaker Mary Lambert. Lambert talked about the creation of “Like a Prayer” in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
Lamber stated, “I wanted to investigate the relationship between sexual pleasure and religious ecstasy. When Madonna told him she wanted to “f*ck a Black guy on the altar,” Lambert said the inspiration for casting a Black man as Jesus came from her. “Well, why not have a Black Jesus, I asked. Let’s just finish the job. That pleased her.
The burning crosses in the film were an obvious allusion to the Ku Klux Klan, and they represented the notion that the hate group “could take a cross, which is a holy symbol to a lot of people, and usurp it in a way to inspire dread and horror and propagate race hatred.” I wanted to make that completely untrue.
Madonna’s “like a Prayer” Video Received a Lot of Negative Feedback.
Many people were shocked when they saw the “Like a Prayer” video. The Hollywood Reporter claims that Pope John Paul II even urged Italians to boycott Madonna.
The song, a single from the singer’s fourth album, was featured in the Pepsi campaign. Pepsi had recently paid Madonna more than $5 million for her appearance in the ad. Additionally, the business was designed to support her next concert tour.
In the Pepsi commercial, Madonna visits her early years and spots herself sipping a Pepsi. Though there is no material overlap with the “Like a Prayer” video, several viewers were nonetheless perplexed.
The soft drink firm received a lot of complaints from customers who mistakenly believed the film was a Pepsi commercial. As well as calling for a boycott of Pepsi, the conservative American Family Association did likewise.
As a result, Pepsi pulled the protracted advertisement. Tod MacKenzie, a spokesman for Pepsico Inc., said at the time that “it just makes logical that that ad goes away when you’ve got an ad that confuses people or concerns people.” According to the Associated Press, it was ultimately only broadcast twice in the United States.
Later, According to Madonna, Her Pepsi Ad Was Withdrawn Because Some People Deemed Her Film to Be “inappropriate.”
Madonna’s connection with Pepsi ended with “Like a Prayer,” but she doesn’t seem to be regretting it. In an Instagram post from 2019 honoring the song’s 30th birthday and its “inappropriate” music video.
“Today marks the release of my song “Like a Prayer” and the creation of a controversial music video in which I kissed a black saint and danced in front of burning crosses. Additionally, I created a PEPSI commercial that was prohibited since my video was deemed inappropriate,” the author claimed. I and Controversy wish you a happy birthday!