”I am Pro Peace”
Madonna released the following statement in February 2003 through her official website madonna.com following the controversy around her still-to-be-released video for “American Life“.
“I feel lucky to be an American citizen for many reasons – one of which is the right to express myself freely, especially in my work.”
“I understand that there have been reports about my upcoming video “American Life” in the media – much of which is inaccurate. I am not Anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro Peace. I have written a song and created a video which expresses my feelings about our culture and values and the illusions of what many people believe is the American dream – the perfect life.”
“As an artist, I hope that this provokes thought and dialogue. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my point of view. I am grateful to have the freedom to express these feelings and that’s how I honor my country.”
As you remember, the original video for “American Life“, directed by Jonas Akerlund, was withdrawn on April 1, 2003 – the day after the video was first shown on a few European music channels only.
“I have decided not to release my new video” – Madonna said in another note back then. “It was filmed before the war started and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time. Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video”
The notorious alternate “flags” version of the video, which does not contain any images of war, was eventually sent to the television networks two weeks later and premiered on VH1 on April 16.
A different cut of the original video was then used as a backdrop projection for the “American Life” performance on the Reinvention Tour.
When the DVD release of “I’m Going to Tell You a Secret“, the documentary about the 2004 tour was announced, Warner Brothers confirmed that the unedited director’s cut version of the “American Life” video was going to feature on the release as an Extra. However, the DVD was eventually released, but the video was nowhere to be found.