David Bowie isn’t new to controversy, especially when it comes to his music, but a video released for the third single from his album “The Next Day” is stirring criticism among everyone.
YouTube temporarily removed the video from its site, saying that it had violated the terms of its service. However, it quickly returned the video with a new warning suggesting that it was only suitable for views over the age of 18.
According to a Google spokesperson, the video was initially removed as a result of an overreaction to the video’s content. “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
The religiously-themed video, which was directed by Italian photographer and filmmaker Floria Sigismondi, features Bowie playing a Christ-like figure with Marion Cotillard as a saint-like figure, complete with blood-spurting palm wounds. It also stars Gary Oldman as a sleazy-looking priest, who is boozing and frolicking with presumed prostitutes.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, issued a statement on the group’s website just hours after the video debuted, saying that the “switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced.”
Donahue continued, “The lyrics refer to the ‘priest stiff in hate’ and ‘women dressed as men for the pleasure of that priest. In short, the video reflects the artist — it is a mess.”
Bowie, 66, still knows how to bring awareness to his music.