Madonna just dropped a big surprise for fans.
On Friday, the pop superstar released the director’s cut of her 2003 music video for “American Life”, which was originally released in censored form 20 years ago.
The video features Madonna leading a fashion show, with models walking the runway alongside victims of war.
— Madonna (@Madonna) April 26, 2023
It takes a dark turn when the models begin bloodily beating the war victims, to the laughter of the snobby audience at the fashion show.
The violence kicks up a notch as bodies are dragged across the runway, many of them missing limbs, along with photos of real victim of war flashing on the screen behind the singer.
Madonna had originally released the video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund and intended as a commentary on the U.S. invasion of Iraq, in a heavily censored version as she faced backlash over its graphic content.
“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,” she said at the time.
But with two decades having passed, it appears Madonna decided it was finally time for people to see the video as it was originally intended, including its controversial ending in which a George W. Bush lookalike catches a grenade and lights a cigarette with it.