Madonna explains controversial use of swastika on ‘MDNA’ tour

The use of the provocative symbol makes a point about intolerance, says the singer

Madonna has explained her decision to incorporate a swastika into a video sequence on her ‘MDNA’ tour.

The provocative symbol is superimposed onto the forehead of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen during a video accompanying Madonna’s song ‘Nobody Knows Me’. After the video was shown at a concert in Paris earlier this month (July 14), the French National Front pledged to sue the singer for “public insult”.

However, Madonna has refused to edit the video and the swastika image was also shown at the singer’s three UK dates last week (July 16). When asked by a Brazilian TV show to defend the controversial imagery, Madonna said that the video is about “the intolerance that we human beings have for one another. And how much we judge people before knowing them. That’s why it’s done in the song ‘Nobody Knows Me’.”

She proceeded to explain her motivations as an artist, adding: “Music should be about ideas. Ideas inspire music, right? So in a show I always like to tell a story.”

The swastika image has not been the only controversy on Madonna’s ‘MDNA’ tour. During her show in Edinburgh on Saturday (July 21), the singer defied warnings not to brandish a gun onstage following last week’s Colorado shootings. She also provoked discussion when she exposed her nipple during a show in Istanbul in June.

Watch the controversial ‘Nobody Knows Me’ sequence below.