Whether you love or loathe her, Madonna continues to draw attention and cause controversy with her music. Her most recent video release for the single, “God Control,” off her “Madame X” album, has been drawing some sharp criticism from many for its graphic depiction of gun violence, and in particular images of people being gunned down in a nightclub. For many, this is too close to real, citing similarities to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida a few years back where 49 innocent people died.
For others, like Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor, Emma González, it brings out varying emotions. While understanding the idea behind the video, it’s still quite disturbing. González, who identifies as queer, is one of the co-founders of March For Our Lives, a gun violence prevention organization, tweeted, “Madonna’s new video for her song #GodControl was fucked up, it was horrible.”
Of course, anyone who knows Madonna also knows she thrives on remaining current and controversial. In a press release for her “God Control” video, Madonna said, “I want to draw attention through my platform as an artist to a problem in America that is out of control and is taking the lives of innocent people.”
Following the video release, Madonna tweeted, “This is your wake up call. Gun violence disproportionately affects children, teenagers, and the marginalized in our communities. Honor the victims and demand GUN CONTROL. NOW. Volunteer, stand up, donate, reach out.” González later tweeted, “If you want to support the gun violence prevention movement, donate to the places who need it, in this case, the One Pulse Foundation and listen to the actual stories from actual survivors of gun violence. #GunControl.”
At WorldPride, Madonna performed two classics at the Closing Ceremony (Vogue, American Life) after thanking the crowd for the support from the LGBT community over the years, and for making an outsider feel welcome. She then got serious about her most recent advocacy work, as she stated: “gun safety and gun control are disproportionately affecting marginalized communities.”
That led to Madonna performing two new songs from the album, “God Control,” which featured dancers dressed as militant police, and “I Rise,” which had projected video depictions of those who helped launch the March for Our Lives movement, along with the simple word, “resist.” González is sampled on the latter tune.
González was at WorldPride a few days before Madonna’s performance to speak on gun advocacy, among other things. There’s no word yet on whether the two individuals crossed paths over the weekend.
One question remains, though. Why did she choose to call it “God Control” instead of “Gun Control??