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Madonna Stresses Anti-War In New Video

Madonna is courting controversy again -- this time with a violent music video for the new song "American Life" that her publicist says depicts the "catastrophic repercussions and horror of war." "It i

Madonna is courting controversy again -- this time with a violent music video for the new song "American Life" that her publicist says depicts the "catastrophic repercussions and horror of war." "It is an anti-war video, but the purpose of the video, as with a lot of Madonna's work, is to be thought-provoking," publicist Liz Rosenberg said. "It is many other things as well" as anti-war, she said.

Web site The Drudge Report reported Sunday that the video was "the most shocking anti-war, anti-Bush statement yet to come from the show business industry," complete with images of Iraqi children and bloody limbs. But Rosenberg said, "I'm not going to say it's specifically anti-Bush at all." She said there were no pictures of Iraqi children or bloody images, though the latter could change in post-production.

The video, directed by Jonas Akerlund, is "a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna," Rosenberg said. It also speaks to the glorification of war, she said, starting off as a runway show of couture army fatigues. "[Then] it just starts to go haywire and goes into other things ... it kind of takes it into a more violent direction."

The clip is expected to premiere in mid-March. Madonna's new album of the same name is due April 22 via Maverick/Warner Bros. As previously reported, a box set celebrating the 20th anniversary of her recording career is also in the works.

Madonna is an expert at creating controversy with videos. In 1989, religious images in "Like a Prayer" led Pepsi to drop her as a spokeswoman. In 1990, MTV refused to air "Justify My Love" because of its sexual content. Two years later, it relegated "Erotica" to early morning hours, and in 2001, VH1 and MTV would not air "What it Feels Like For a Girl" because of violence.

Rosenberg said that despite the new video's imagery, the song itself is not anti-war. "The lyric content to the song doesn't reflect that at all. There's a line in which Madonna sings about 'I live the American dream,'" she said. "It's things like that, about what the culture thinks is important."


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