David Bowie's religious-themed video gets adult content warning on YouTube

Published 10 May 2013  |  

David Bowie has never been one to follow convention but his unholy music video, "The Next Day", in which he is depicted as Christ was temporarily removed from YouTube.

The video was directed by filmmaker Floria Sigismondi, who was also behind the video for Justin Timberlake's Mirrors.

Bowie's video was later reinstated by YouTube but with an adult content warning.

In the three-minute video, Bowie appears dressed in a long smock. He stands at a mic singing in the corner of a room that looks like part bar, part church. Various religious characters fill the room. A cardinal is seen giving money to dancers in underwear, while a nun prays.

Marion Cotillard's scantily dressed character dances seductively before a priest, played by Gary Oldman.
In one of the most dramatic scenes of the video, Cotillard is on her knees, her eyes staring up, as she experiences stigmata and blood pours from her hands.

Oldman then shouts at Bowie: "You see this? This is your doing - you call yourself a prophet?"

Speaking to The Telegraph, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey was dismissive of the video but added his hope that Bowie would "recognise that he may be upsetting some people".

"If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.

"I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery - I very much doubt it.

"Frankly, I don't get offended by such juvenilia - Christians should have the courage to rise above offensive language, although I hope Bowie will recognise that he may be upsetting some people."

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