In the graphic clip, a gunman opens fire on a nightclub dancefloor with an automatic rifle, in reference to the shooting at the gay club Pulse in Orlando on 12 June 2016, in which 49 people died and 53 were wounded.
In the song, taken from her new album, Madame X, Madonna sings: “Blood innocence, spread everywhere.” A written statement at the end the video reads: “Every year over 36,000 Americans are killed in acts gun violence and approximately 100,000 more are shot and injured. No one is safe. Gun control. Now.”
González, 19, called the video “fucked up” and “horrible”, and criticised Madonna for the timing its release. “She should have sent out a message warning what her new video contained,” she wrote on Twitter, “ESPECIALLY to the Pulse victims, ESPECIALLY as it was released just after the anniversary on June 12th.”
González called on anyone who wants to support the gun violence prevention movement to donate to One Pulse Foundation and to listen to “the actual stories from actual survivors gun violence”, and suggested that anyone sharing images or clips from the video “please tag it as triggering”. The video opens with a written message: “The story you are about to see is very disturbing. It shows graphic scenes gun violence.”
Madonna sampled a clip González’s February 2018 speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the Madame X song I Rise. “Us kids don’t know what we’re talking about,” she can be heard saying at the start the track. “That we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.”
Until the October 2017 shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that killed 58, the Pulse terror attack was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. The Florida gunman, Omar Mateen, was shot and killed by police during the attack – he had described himself as an “Islamic soldier” and pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
In a recent interview, Madonna said: “When you think about the amount people who have died, been killed, have been wounded, whose lives have been changed irrevocably because the lack gun control in America, it’s such a huge, huge problem.”
In the same interview she also championed LGBT rights and criticised recent US restrictions on abortion, saying: “We fought really hard for a lot these freedoms and now it seems like they are all systematically being taken away … It doesn’t make me feel hopeless. It just makes me want to fight back.”