David Bowie: Controversy Over Religious Imagery in New Video

    May 9, 2013

Using religious imagery is nothing new for music artists. Stars as different as Madonna and Kanye West have come under fire from religious Americans for the use of crosses and other religious symbols in music videos.

Now, David Bowie has found a way to thrust his name back into pop music using the tried-and-true tactic of annoying Christians.

The 66-year-old actor and pop star this week released his first album in almost 10 years and debuted a music video for the title track, “The Next Day.” The video stars Gary Oldman as a mobster/priest and Marion Cotillard as a floozy who experiences stigmata.

The big-name actors and their characters aren’t the only thing Christians, and especially Catholics, might take offense to in the video. At points in the video barely-clothed women, self-flagellation, a cardinal who hands out money, and Joan of Arc are all depicted. Bowie himself is, of course, dressed as a depiction of the Christian messiah, Jesus Christ.

The video has received an age filter on YouTube, after being briefly pulled due to violating YouTube’s contend guidelines.