Pop star Madonna today pulled her controversial new music video, in which she tosses a hand grenade to a President George W Bush look-alike, from release "out of respect" for US armed forces in Iraq.
The video, produced to accompany her new single "American Life," was issued outside the United States yesterday and had been circulated to American TV outlets such as "Access Hollywood" ahead of its US premiere, which had been slated for Friday on the cable music channel VH-1.
But Madonna, who in the past has outraged many with her mix of frank sexuality and religious symbolism in the video genre she helped popularise 20 years ago, said in a statement she decided to withdraw her 4 1/2-minute video after it became "the subject of rumours and misinformation."
"It was filmed before the war started, and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time," the singer wrote. "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."
No doubt pressure from the record label had absolutely nothing to do with it...