Madonna has defended her new music video featuring a shooting massacre in a nightclub, saying “Does it make you feel bad? Good, 'cause then maybe you will do something about it."
The Queen of Pop calls for people to "wake up" to the reality of gun violence in the video for new track God Control with a video recalling the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were killed.
Reaction to the video on social media has seen it branded disturbing and unwatchable.
Madonna told: "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."
She added that gun violence "is the biggest problem in America right now", adding: "I cannot take it any more."
The 60-year-old mother-of-six also told CNN: "This is what happens when people shoot".
Patience Carter, a survivor of the Pulse nightclub massacre, wrote on Twitter: “I couldn’t even watch after the first 45 secs @Madonna There are so many creative avenues that could’ve been taken to bring awareness to gun control. The Victims of these mass shootings should always be taken into consideration. I applaud the attempt, but I am truly disturbed.”
The video ends with a close-up of tears spilling down Madonna’s face, along with a call to action for viewers to support multiple organisations fighting for gun-safety legislation, including Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, March For Our Lives Foundation, Gays Against Guns, Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, One Pulse for America, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
WARNING: VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS VERY GRAPHIC DEPICTIONS OF GUN VIOLENCE.
In a statement released in conjunction with the video, Madonna explained, "I want to draw attention through my platform as an artist to a problem in America that is out of control and is taking the lives of innocent people. This crisis can end if our legislators act to change the laws that fail to protect us all."
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The Madame X star said in a recent interview: “As a mother, you feel protective and responsible for all of the children in the world. It’s really scary to me that the once-safe spaces where we gather, worship and learn are targets. Nobody’s safe. So of course, as a mother, I acutely feel the worry.”