The Queen of Pop has garnered criticism for appearing to “trivialize” the effects of the coronavirus in a video taken while she sat in a bathtub full of rose petals as piano music played in the background.
“That’s the thing about COVID-19,” Madonna says in the video, which was posted to Instagram on Sunday. “It doesn’t care about how rich you are, how famous you are, how funny you are, how smart you are, where you live, how old you are, what amazing stories you can tell.”
“It’s the great equalizer, and what’s terrible about it is what’s great about it,” she added. “What’s terrible about it is that it has made us all equal in many ways, and what’s wonderful about it is that it’s made us all equal in many ways. … Like I used to say at the end of ‘Human Nature’ every night, we are all in the same boat. And if the ship goes down, we’re all going down together.”
While Madonna is correct in stating that the coronavirus affects people from all backgrounds, many were quick to respond that the pandemic will not affect those from more affluent backgrounds in the same ways it will affect those with less money and fewer connections. According to an estimate from the U.N.’s International Labour Organization, the coronavirus pandemic could claim up to 24.7 million jobs.
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“This video is stupid. We all know that you are in your own rich confinement. You live in other reality Madge. Stop it. With petals on your rich bath, oh my god,” user Alexinobcn commented. “Covid19 mades distinction cause you can afford your own respiratory machine. Stop trivializing this awful situation please.”
“Wrong!! Sorry Madonna but the wealthy like yourself can get tested even with no symptoms but all us regular Joe’s get turned away,” Mykethemakeupguy said.
Some critics also pointed out that wealthy people have already been able to capitalize on their more privileged positions, noting the senators who sold stocks after briefings about the detrimental economic effect the coronavirus would have and how asymptomatic professional athletes were able to get coronavirus tests without any issues.
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“If the ship is going down, do you really think we’re going down together while you’re in your bathtub having people working for you to be there? I love you, my queen,” user Marilins commented. “But things outside your mansion are very different from what you think. Stay safe and a be a little more empathic to the less privileged ones.”
NBC News has reached out to Madonna’s representatives for comment.