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Madonna Defends Swastika Usage on MDNA Tour

Ian Gavan, Getty Images

Controversy, thy name is Madonna. The singer, who has come under fire for incorporating swastikas into tour interludes, for flashing flesh, for bringing fake guns on stage and for desecrating Catholic symbols during her show, is standing her ground and defending her usage of controversial symbols.

She refuses to alter or change her concert, no matter who is mad at the images she’s projecting. The promoters of her protested Poland show did, however, agree to add a video commemorating the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis during WWII, since her show falls on the event’s anniversary.

Madge has addressed the criticism of her usage of the swastika in the video interlude and superimposing the symbol on the forehead of French politician Marine Le Pen during ‘Nobody Knows Me.’

During a chat with a Brazilian TV show (quotes via, Madge explained that the clip is about “the intolerance that we human beings have for one another. And how much we judge people before knowing them. That’s why it’s done in the song ‘Nobody Knows Me.’”

Hmm. That’s a bit of a flawed argument, since Madonna is pretty much judging people without really knowing them and making sweeping statements with the imagery, so it’s a slippery slope. That’s not so suggest that she’s not within her artistic rights to do whatever she wants or that Le Pen and her party shouldn’t be criticized, either. It’s just a complicated symbol with lots of connotations.

Madonna also said that as an artist, it’s her goal to promote ideas. “Music should be about ideas. Ideas inspire music, right? So in a show I always like to tell a story,” she declared.

She may be telling a story but she’s also leaving a trail of angry people in her wake.

Next: Vote for the Best Madonna Album

Watch the Madonna ‘Nobody Knows Me’ Sequence


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