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Pop superstar Madonna is under fire (again) following an Instagram post in which she claimed she makes her employees work for free… which we think technically makes them volunteers.
The music legend, who is said to be worth an estimated $850 million, took to yesterday to show off a photo spread by photographer Steven Klein. But it was the caption to that image kicked off the controversy.
“Proud of my collaboration with @stevenkleinstudio For @vmagazine and knowing that against all odds,” she wrote. “And with very little support from non artistic people who kept pushing back and the fact that we did it with almost zero budget we were still able to make ART! Art is not dead if you have the strength to fight for what you believe in.”
“Thanks to all who did support us and slept on couches and worked long hours and for free all to support madame ❌ who is not only here to disturb the peace but to keep Art alive I send you all a BIG kiss,” she concluded.
Many of Madonna’s followers immediately voiced criticism over the remarks, noting that with her vast fortune, nobody on her team should go unpaid.
“Sleeping on couches and working for FREE to support madame X???? Can’t believe It!!!!!! Sorry #madamex is reach!! She must support talent for emerging artist,” wrote user deloscobos.
“Oh god if you as Madonna have almost zero budget, I don’t know what hope there is for unsigned artists like us,” said thealphasmusic.
“So basically you’re a multi millionaire & u expect people to work for free to support you? Just because you call it art they don’t get paid,” echoed clairebarnes76.
“The definition of exploitation = People working for you for free in the name of ‘art,'” charged morvan_forever.
We could go on, but we think you get the point.
Other users took issue with an image of Steven Klein holding a knife to Madonna’s throat, claiming that it promotes violence against women.
At the time of this writing, the singer hasn’t commented any further on the post, which remains active on her Instagram account.
Madonna, who is no stranger to controversy, has earned the ire of fans recently for a number of incendiary statements. Earlier this year she attacked “cancel culture” as a form of censorship. She also defended anti-vaxxers amid ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns, compared transphobic comedian Dave Chappelle to LGBTQ activist James Baldwin, and compared Britney Spears conservatorship to “slavery.”