Madonna unveiled the controversial music video for American Life, 20 years after the track and album of the same name’s original release.
At the time, she replaced the video with a green-screen clip of the pop star singing in front of numerous changing flags from different countries, no longer saying anything about the Iraq War in her clip.
She said in April 2003, per news.com.au, “I have decided not to release my new video. It was filmed before the war started and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time.
“Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video.”
Now, as she walks down memory lane upon her upcoming Celebration world tour – celebrating every era of Madonna – she’s also released the original video for American Life that would have been heavily censored or banned at the time.
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Releasing a 4K, remastered Director’s Cut version of the video, Madonna’s dancers gear up for a fashion show.
That’s before footage of bombings and throwing injured dancers in army clothes around the catwalk, showing children afraid, and people on fire, interspersed with what looks like real footage from the war takes over the clip.
It’s a graphic video that features violence and blood. You can watch it below.
However, as news.com.au notes, the Director’s Cut video Madonna shared omits an infamous scene that’s made the rounds on the internet since 2003: in the closing moments of this video, a George W. Bush lookalike catches the grenade caught by Madonna.
“The actor playing the president who would send the US to war with Iraq flips the top of the grenade – and lights a cigar with it, smiling.”
Madonna will reportedly perform music from her extensive discography, from her 1983 debut to her most recent album, 2019’s Madame X, on her upcoming Celebration tour.
“I am excited to explore as many songs as possible in hopes to give my fans the show they have been waiting for,” she wrote on her website.
The pop music icon hasn’t toured Australia since 2016, following a 23-year wait between visits. We’ve only been included during 1994’s The Girlie Show and the Rebel Heart tour (2015/2016). As Out In Perth reports, Madonna has “never ever played a show in Perth.”