Madonna, 63, slammed for 'gross and inappropriate' photo shoot

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·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read
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  • Marilyn Monroe
    American actress, model, and singer (1926-1962)
  • Madonna
    Madonna
    American singer and songwriter
  • Steven Klein
    American photographer

Madonna is being slammed on social media for what many assumed was her recreating Marilyn Monroe's death bed scene in a new photo shoot for V Magazine.

The 63-year-old is seen lying face down on a mattress in the photo, with her bottom exposed, while another shot shows prescription pill bottles on the nightstand.

Madonna
Madonna is being slammed for a 'gross and inappropriate' photo shoot in which she seemingly recreated Marilyn Monroe's death bed scene. Photo: Getty

Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home on August 4, 1962 at the age of 36. Her death was caused by an overdose on sedative drugs the night before.

A photograph of Marilyn's bed looks eerily similar to the photos of Madonna taken by photographer Steven Klein for the magazine.

"For some morbid and eerie reason, Madonna decides to re-create Marilyn Monroe’s death bed," pop culture expert Mike Sington tweeted on Saturday.

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Many Twitter users were quick to slam the singer, with one user writing, "Yuck. Gross and inappropriate." 

"Must be sad to still need so much attention," another wrote. "And this is so gross."

"That's so disturbing," a third added.

"This makes me queasy," someone else wrote. "Seems to me in bad taste."

However, some users pointed out that the photoshoot was simply paying homage to a shoot that Marilyn did and wasn't recreating her death.

"Firstly, the photo shoot pays homage to a photo shoot Marilyn did," one user wrote. "Secondly, it doesn’t recreate her death. Third, the beds look nothing like each other. Great story apart from that."

The photographer said he was inspired by Bert Stern's series The Last Sitting, believed to be Marilyn's final photoshoot, which she sat for six weeks before her death.

"This photo essay was inspired by a shoot that Marilyn Monroe did with photographer Bert Stein titled 'The Last Sitting," Steven Klein told the magazine. "What was supposed to be a three-hour sitting, turned into a three-day whirlwind, working night and day. Drinking laughing, shooting photos, editing, sleeping and then taking more photos – a private affair between two artists which rarely happens anymore."

He added that he and the singer weren't interested in merely recreating the photos but exploring the relationship between photographer and subject. 

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home on August 4, 1962 at the age of 36. Photo: Getty

"When I sent Madonna the photos she was really taken by the incandescent fragility of Marilyn at that moment in her life," he added. "We decided to find a hotel suite and try to capture the liaison between a star and the camera, the mystery, and magic of this creative collaboration.

"We hope we have done justice to the great work of Bert Stern and Marilyn Monroe," he finished.

In the article, Madonna spoke about cancel culture and the pandemic, saying, "The way people think about the pandemic, for instance, that the vaccination is the only answer or the polarization of thinking you're either on this side or the other. 

"There's no debate, there's no discussion. That's something I want to disturb. I want to disturb the fact that we're not encouraged to discuss it. I believe that our job [as artists] is to disturb the status quo. 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, cancel culture. In cancel culture, disturbing the peace is probably an act of treason."

She added that speaking up is always better than remaining silent.

"The thing is the quieter you get, the more fearful you get, the more dangerous anything is," she said. "We're giving it power by shutting the f**k up completely."

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