Switch on your brain! Madonna sparks furious backlash over knife-wielding, braided photo
Madonna makes surprise appearance at MTV's VMAs
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Iconic singer Madonna, 63, took to Instagram to share a number of controversial images with her 16.9 million followers, one of which involved her photographer holding a knife to her throat. The singer also revealed that her staff had worked for free on the project, sparking a number of complaints from upset fans.
In the first picture, Madonna can be seen holding up a copy of V Magazine surrounded by candles.
The next photo shows photographer Steven Klein pointing a knife at her neck while she clutches the new cover of V, which also recently came under fire for its depiction of Madonna recreating Marilyn Monroe’s death.
In the caption she wrote: “Proud of my collaboration with @stevenkleinstudio for @vmagazine and knowing that against all odds…
“And with very little support from non artistic people who kept pushing back and the fact that we did it with almost zero budget we were still able to make ART!
“Art is not dead if you have the strength to fight for what you believe in !!…
“Thanks to all who did support us and slept on couches and worked long hours and for free all to support madame who is not only here to disturb the peace but to keep Art alive I send you all a BIG kiss.” (sic)
After the picture was posted, torrents of angry followers flooded the comments section, blasting the multimillionaire for “glorifying violence”, using “exploitative” unpaid labour, while also accusing her of cultural appropriation due to her braided hair.
Given the high rate of knife crime in London at the moment and the recent tragedies of violence against women following the deaths of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, people were angry at what they felt the post was promoting in the name of art.
“This image does more to damage and degrade and glorify violence towards women then celebrate art,”(sic) wrote Exdominatrixfilm.
Nate9967 penned: “Madonna PLEASE do not pose with a person holding a knife to your throat – this is NOT a photo op – this is really bad!!!”
“Switch on your brain. All the women suffering abuse and being murdered, and what you post is a knife to your throat. Disgusting message,” Valentintinves added.
Marla.rodrigues commented: “So a knife in a woman’s neck is art? The patriarchal system is very happy with you… Switch on your brain.”
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Jamessherwoodglamour was also unhappy with the post, writing: “A knife to the throat. Really my queen? We have so much knife crime in London. This is just irresponsible and upsetting.”
Others claimed that Madonna’s use of free labour was exploitative and unfair, given her wealth and success.
Dom_0822 commented: “No one should be working for you for ‘free’ to support your projects. You are one of the richest women in the world. This post is so offensive on so many levels.”
Series one finalist of Gran Hermano Argentina (an equivalent show to Big Brother) also weighed in on the issue, saying: “Worked for free??? Why didn’t you pay them yourself? Are you short on cash or something?”
Morvan_forever added: “The definition of exploitation = People working for you for free in the name of ‘art’.”
Iamdarrylc wrote: “Why are people working for free and sleeping on couches when they are working for a multi millionaire??? That isn’t how someone who had made it supports art!!!”
The star was also accused of cultural appropriation by some fans, with justniahagain commenting: “This hairstyle is giving microaggression”.
Err_401 added,“Why the braids?” while ingetpafranska wrote: “Why is nobody talking about her braids?? CA and not okay.”
Some fans voiced their support for Madonna amid the backlash, including Dazesplace, who wrote: “Most beautiful woman in the world.”
“Art is alive and well!! This looks awesome!!” added Jillywisdom, while a number of fans inundated the post with love heart and applause emojis.
Express.co.uk has reached out to Madonna for further comment.
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