Madonna once again sparked controversy on Sunday with her latest slew of Instagram snaps – leading to a host of accusations from fans.
The Material Girl songstress, 63, took to the photosharing site to post a number of images – including one with photographer Steven Klein holding a knife to her throat and a caption revealing her staff worked for free on her recent project.
A flood of comments came from fans, who blasted the multimillionaire for permitting unpaid labour, while others were left furious at her braided hairstyle – accusing the star of cultural appropriation – and some insisted she was glorifying violence.
Rage: Madonna once again sparked controversy on Sunday with her latest slew of Instagram snaps – leading to a host of accusations from fans
In the images, Madonna was seen holding up a copy of the new photographic creation for V Magazine, as Klein holds a knife to her chin.
Madonna, born Madonna Louise Ciccone, appears to be in a frozen state, standing with her eyes closed and her hands placed on the V Magazine cover, which came under fire for its depiction of Madonna recreating Marilyn Monroe’s death.
She wore her hair in braids for the snaps while showcasing her remarkably smooth complexion and donning a simple black ensemble.
Her accompanying caption read: ‘Proud of my collaboration with @stevenkleinstudio For @vmagazine and knowing that against all odds…
Proud: The Material Girl songstress, 63, took to the photosharing site to post a number of images – including one with photographer Steven Klein holding a knife to her throat and a caption revealing her staff worked for free on her recent project
Slammed: She was lambasted for the use of free labour despite her wealth
‘And with very little support from non artistic people who kept pushing back and the fact that we did it with almost zero budget we were still able to make ART! Art is not dead if you have the strength to fight for what you believe in !!…
‘Thanks to all who did support us and slept on couches and worked long hours and for free all to support madame ❌ who is not only here to disturb the peace but to keep Art alive I send you all a BIG kiss’.
The first point of ire among fans was the alarming confession that staff had worked for free on a project – despite Madonna’s multimillionaire status.
Fans penned: ‘Worked for free??? Why didn’t you Pay them yourself? Are you short on cash or something?… Oh god. If you as Madonna have almost zero budget, I don’t know what hope there is for the unsigned artists like us lol?…
Artist: The Material Girl professed that ‘art is not dead’ in her Instagram post
Oh dear… Her braided hairdo was also an issue among fans
‘Definition of exploitation = people working for you for free in the name of art… Why are people working for free and sleeping on couches when they are working for a millionaire?????? That isn’t how someone who had made it supports art!’
Others pointed to the fact that posing with a knife was problematic in ‘glorifying and promoting’ violence towards women in the name of art.
Enraged followers wrote: ‘Madonna PLEASE do not pose with a person holding a knife to your throat – this is NOT a photo op – this is really bad !!!…
‘@stevenkleinstudio has actually used a knife @interpol_hq @cia AND it is back Health & safety when @madonna sings are about real violence on people that are gunned down with automatic weapons…
‘So a knife in a woman’s neck is art? The patriarchal system is very happy with you… Switch on your brain. All the women suffering abuse and being murdered, and what you post is a knife to your throat. Disgusting message…
Queen B: Klein references Madonna as having the title of ‘queen’ by holding up that pillow
Ouch: Her use of a knife as a prop was the next issue with followers
‘This image does more to damage and degrade and glorify violence towards women then celebrate art… A knife to the throat. Really my queen…
‘We have so much knife crime in London. This is just irresponsible and upsetting… the knife photo is really upsetting. unfollowed him so I’m unfollowing you, too.’
The series of Instagram snaps also includes a photo of Klein licking one of the images from the magazine spread with his tongue, another of Madonna holding up the magazine, a black-and-white shot of her, and a picture of Klein sitting next to Madonna with a pillow in his arms that reads: ‘Mom a title just above queen.’
The four different covers and inside photos in the publication’s new issue #133 were created by Madonna and Klein as an homage to Marilyn Monroe’s very last photoshoot, Bert Stern’s The Last Sitting (1962).
In the issue, she is seen posing in similar positions to Monroe, who was photographed for the shoot six weeks before she tragically died nearly 60 years ago.
Rage: She sparked anger by recreating Marilyn Monroe’s death scene in V Magazine
One of her homage photos appears to replicate the actress’ bedroom where she was found dead from an overdose of pills. Plus, Madonna has her platinum tresses styled like Monroe from her heyday in 1940s and 50s.
Los Angeles police concluded her death was ’caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.’
With those details in mind, some critics on social media have called out Madonna for glamorizing suicide with her homage of photos.
In her interview for the V Magazine spread with Jeremy O. Harris, the Like A Virgin starlet seemed to proactively address the controversy surrounding the images.
Backlash: Critics called out Madonna for glamorizing suicide by paying homage to Monroe’s last photoshoot before she reportedly killed herself with a mixture of drugs and alcohol
‘The censoring that’s going on in the world right now, that’s pretty frightening. No one’s allowed to speak their mind right now. No one’s allowed to say what they really think about things for fear of being canceled,’ she declared.
‘In cancel culture, disturbing the peace is probably an act of treason. The thing is the quieter you get, the more fearful you get, the more dangerous anything is. We’re giving it power by shutting the f**k up completely.’
For his part, Klein explained the meaning behind the Monroe homage, sharing, ‘We were not interested in recreating the images exactly but more importantly, we wanted to explore the relationship between photographer and subject. Both the friendship and the artistic process, and how art can imitate life and vice versa.’
He also expressed his hope to have ‘done justice to the great work of Bert Stern and Marilyn Monroe.’
Nod of respect: The Like A virgin star appeared to style her hair and cloths like Monroe
Homage to Marilyn: The V Magazine spread by Madonna and Klein is a homage to Marilyn Monroe’s last photoshoot, Bert Stern’s The Last Sitting , in 1962, six weeks before her death