Madonna has been criticised by her fans for brandishing a fake gun during her show in Denver earlier this week (October 18).
The ‘MDNA’ singer posed with a fake firearm during a gig at the city’s Pepsi Centre, prompting punters to complain about her insensitivity in light of the shootings which took place in nearby Aurora, Colorado at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in July.
According to The AP, several fans left the show after being offended by Madonna’s performance of the song ‘Gang Bang’, in which she pretended to shoot a criminal while images of splattered blood were displayed on the stage backdrop.
One fans, Aaron Fransua, said: “We all just stood there. Everybody who was around me all had shock on the face. I heard a lot of ‘wows’.”
Meanwhile, Pete Burns, a local radio presenter, commented: “You could see people kinda looking at each other. I heard the word ‘Colorado’, you know, ‘Aurora’, ‘shooting’.
“You could hear people talking about it and it was a little bit unsettling,” he added. “I saw two or three people get up and grab their stuff and actually leave their seats.”
However, Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg defended the singer’s actions and said it would have been unthinkable to drop the gun stunt from the show. She said:
It’s like taking out the third act of Hamlet. Madonna does not make things pretty and tie them up with a bow.
This is not the first time Madonna has found herself under fire for including the controversial segment. It was reported in July that she had been asked by police not to use fake guns on stage during a show in Scotland – a warning that was re-enforced after the shooting in Colorado – but she defied them and performed with an imitation pistol and AK47 assault rifle.
Earlier this week (October 15), meanwhile, the singer dedicated a song to Malala Yousufzai, the teenage girl shot in the head by the Taliban, during a concert in Los Angeles, and later rolled down her top to reveal Malala’s name written at the base of her spine. She had previously employed a similar tactic when defending Russian punk band Pussy Riot earlier in the year.