David Bowie Controversy: Catholic League Bashes 'The Next Day' Music Video

Image: David Bowie Controversy: Catholic League Bashes 'The Next Day' Music Video

Friday, 10 May 2013 11:22 AM

By Michael Mullins

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The Catholic League is criticizing David Bowie for his controversial new music video, "The Next Day," which presents the 66-year-old English rocker as a Christ-like figure.

In the video, Bowie performs in a night club frequented by seedy priests, prostitutes, a masochistic monk and an intoxicated cardinal.

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"First they give you everything that you want. Then they take back everything that you have," Bowie sings. "They live upon their fear and they die upon their knees, they can work with Satan while they dress like the saints, they know god exists for the devil tells them so."

Lyrics like these prompted an immediate response from Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who issued a statement on the organization's website just hours after the video debuted.

"The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced," Donahue wrote.

In the early 1980s, Bowie described himself as bisexual but later backpedaled.

"I was always a closet heterosexual," he told Rolling Stone magazine years later.

Citing lyrics such as "priest stiff in hate" and "women dressed as men for the pleasure of that priest," Donohue further surmised that "the video reflects the artist — it is a mess."

English actor Gary Oldman, 55, joins Bowie in the video playing a degenerate priest who drinks and interacts with prostitutes.

Up and coming French actress Marion Cotillard, 37, is also in the video. Midway through she begins hemorrhaging blood from the palms of her hands to mimic the stigmata, which corresponds with the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ.

The song is the third single from Bowie's 2013 album, also titled "The Next Day." Music critics have characterized the album as an attempt by the artist to resuscitate his career; it is his first work in 10 years.

The David Bowie video was initially removed from YouTube on Wednesday when it was posted, but it was quickly reposted, with a suggestion that it was only suitable for viewers 18 years or older.

"With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call," a Google spokesperson told CBS News. "When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it."

This isn't Bowie's first brush with controversy over the course of his 50-year music career.

During the 1970s, David Bowie was photographed giving a Nazi-like salute in a British train station. He also reportedly collected Nazi paraphernalia, The Daily Mail reported.

Bowie's "Where Are We Now?" music video, the first single of his new album, was panned by critics when it was released in January.

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Related stories:

Nicki Minaj's Grammy Act Criticized by Catholic League

'Sexpert' Dan Savage's Pope Attack Draws Catholic League Response

Catholic League's Donohue: Secularists Fighting War on Christmas

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