Both Madonna and the controversy she causes are interesting to watch. The public keeps a sharp eye on what she does because she is an outspoken individual who knows how to market herself to the worldwide media.
The “Like A Prayer” Controversy
In 1989 Madonna found herself at the center of a “cola war” controversy. She had signed a deal with Pepsi Cola wherein her lead single, the title track for the album ‘Like a Prayer’, would be debuted as a Pepsi commercial in which she would appear. The squeaky-clean soda commercial debuted during an episode of ‘The Cosby Show’. But the following week, her own video version of the song debuted on MTV. This version was not at all “family friendly” by many people’s estimations. This version had Madonna French kissing a black saint in church, witnessing a graphic murder, and then dancing in front of a field of burning crosses. Amid threats of boycotts, Pepsi yanked the commercial. But she got to keep her $5 million endorsement.
The Sex/”Erotica”/Body of Evidence Controversy
The following year (1992) found Madonna at the center of yet another sexually-drenched controversy, but this one was far more intense than any of the past, and it actually threatened to damage her career. She released ‘Sex’, a picture book depicting her often naked engaged in many sexual acts with various partners, including rappers Big Daddy Kane and Vanilla Ice, actress Isabella Rossellini, and model Naomi Campbell. The following weeks saw the release of her most sexually overt album to date: ‘Erotica’. Not surprisingly, the video for the lead single, ‘Madonna: Erotica/Video Single’, was banned from MTV after only a few late night airings. And when ‘Body of Evidence’ was released in early 1993, the public seemed to have had enough of her. Some critics said she had finally gone too far this time and that her career was over.
The Britney Spears Kiss
The audience of MTV’s twentieth annual Video Music Awards on August 28th knew they were in for something a little bit different for this year’s opening act, but few were prepared for what they saw. Britney and Christina opened the VMA show dressed like brides singing Madonna’s classic hit “Like a Virgin,” which then segued into her new song “Hollywood” as Madonna stepped out of the wedding cake wearing a modified tuxedo. What ensued was a drag show of sorts in which she was the “groom” and Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were the virginal brides, culminating in a french-kiss between her and Britney, and then, with Christina.
The “What it Feels Like for a Girl” Controversy
‘Madonna – What It Feels Like for a Girl (DVD Single)’ was banned from MTV for its violent content, which is a bit of a laugh because it contains nothing more violent than the average police show. What the executives didn’t like was the theme of the video: she taking an elderly woman on a joyride and harassing men in the process.
The American Life/Anti-War Controversy
This year, Madonna generated controversy due to the anti-war message of the title track of ‘American Life’. Also controversial was the music video, which she herself decided not to release due to her respect for the troops. It’s not entirely clear, but some have suggested that her anti-war stance gained her the same fate of the Dixie Chicks: a radio play list ban.
She always strays from the norm, and she always gives her brash opinions on particular establishments, and acts on those opinions afterwards. Many people have many opinions about her, and many people speak their mind about her. This is what she likes — to listen to people talking about her. She loves the attention and uses it to her advantage.