×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Madonna Revives Nightmarish Imagery of Orlando Nightclub Massacre in New Music Video

"Guns need to be made illegal," she flatly declared in a teaser for the joltingly violent "God Control" video.

Any thoughts that Madonna’s provocative streak might be taking a time-out in 2019 were put to a halt with her release Wednesday of a new music video for her song “God Control,” which portrays a bloody massacre in a nightclub and is peppered with slogans advocating for gun control.

Filmed by director Jonas Åkerlund largely in downtown L.A. at the Globe Theater, the clip clearly means to reference the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting of 2016, when 49 people were killed and 53 others wounded by a lone gunman.

 

“The story you are about to see is very disturbing. It shows graphic scnes of gun violence,” reads a crawl at the beginning of the video. “But it’s happening everyday. And it has to stop.”

The eight-minute video is filled with initially confusing time-shifts and time stamps, getting to the on-screen massacre fairly early in the clip, with blood-streaked and lifeless (but sometimes still visibly breathing) bodies strewn across a disco’s dance floor and bar. Squibs are used as a bespectacled, long-haired gunman shoots down everyone in his path. Eventually, the video concentrates on the hours leading up to the bloodbath, although even there, no one is safe in Madonna’s vision, as she’s shown being robbed at gunpoint on the street outside the club.

Other shots include a children’s choir accompanying a funeral with multiple coffins, and what appears to be real footage of anti-NRA protests and tearful student vigils. Madonna appears in the less violent scenes — set to a rap that on record reminded many music critics of “Vogue” (“People think that I’m insane / The only gun is in my brain”) — as a blonde dancer, while in the framing sequences she’s a brunette writer tapping away at a typewriter in lace gloves, tapping out the song’s lyrics and eventually shedding a tear of her own.

Although the video ends with the on-screen words “Gun Control Now,” in a pre-release teaser, she went further and explained just what level of control she’s advocating, flatly declared: “Guns need to be made illegal.”

“If you’re sitting alone in your apartment all day and you’re writing about the downfall of humanity, it tends to get you down,” Madonna said in the earlier teaser. “After a while, you need to have fun. So, where does a girl go? She goes to a disco! … I tried to bring the world of disco and freedom, and having that joy silenced by a small thing made of metal that can end someone’s life.”

More Music

  • Ryuichi Sakamoto poses during a photo

    Oscar Winning Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto Signs Publishing Deal With Kobalt (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning composer renowned for scores ranging from 1983’s “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” to 2015’s “The Revenant,” has signed on with Kobalt for a publishing deal that covers most of his catalogue around the world, with the exception of his native Japan. “Kobalt is an exciting company,” Sakamoto said in [...]

  • Billie Eilish Dazzles Crowd With Intimate

    Billie Eilish Dazzles Crowd With Intimate Acoustic Set at Apple Headquarters

    “This is really insane. Nothing like this has ever been done on this stage.” Billie Eilish was addressing the packed crowd midway through her set at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in California’s Silicon Valley, marking the first time an artist has given a public concert at the iconic home to Apple’s keynote [...]

  • James-Charles-YouTube

    YouTube Reveals 2019 Top-Trending Videos, Most-Viewed Music Videos

    YouTube is out with its year-in-review lists for 2019, documenting the top videos, trends, creators, music, games and more. Leading the list of U.S. top-trending videos was beauty influencer James Charles’ “No More Lies” (pictured above), his video response to accusations of betrayal and misbehavior by vlogger Tati Westbrook. After the controversy blew up in [...]

  • Billie Eilish in Talks With Apple

    Billie Eilish Nearing Deal With Apple TV Plus for R.J. Cutler-Helmed Documentary

    Apple TV Plus is nearing a deal to acquire a yet-untitled Billie Eilish documentary, directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Interscope Films, a source close to the situation confirmed to Variety. While reports have that said that film is part of a $25 million deal and has a budget between $1-2 million, a source [...]

  • Katy Perry

    Bright Lines: Musicologists Police the Boundaries of Copyright Law

    Todd Decker is a music historian who chairs the music department at Washington University in St. Louis. A few years ago, a local attorney called the department looking for help on a case. The lawyer represented Flame, a little-known Christian rapper who claimed that Katy Perry had ripped off his song in her 2014 smash [...]

  • Vivian Campbell, Phil Collen, Rick Allen,

    Def Leppard Reveal Dates for Stadium Tour With Motley Crue

    As previously reported, Def Leppard will undertake a stadium tour this summer with Motley Crue and Poison, and special guest Joan Jett & the Blackhearts have been added to the bill as well. Full dates for the tour, which is produced by Live Nation, appear below. Def Leppard (pictured above) was inducted into the Rock [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content