Leave it to David Bowie to outdo all the rest of today’s boundary-leaping, envelope-pushing musicians and get himself reprimanded by the Catholic League.
Bowie’s video for “The Next Day,” the title track off his latest album, was directed by Floria Sigismondi and features acclaimed actors Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. And it plays out just about exactly as one would expect it to. Particularly with Oldman involved. Acting as a priest.
The lewd behavior and overtly sacrilegious activity that ensues plays out terrifically with Bowie’s music, but the Catholic League sees it differently. The U.S.-based civil rights organization fights anti-Catholicism, and the new video has prompted president Bill Donohue to admonish Bowie on their website. Donohue refers to Bowie as “a switch-hitting, bisexual senior citizen from London” and states:
The video is strewn with characteristic excess: one priest bashes a homeless man, while others are busy hitting on women…The lyrics refer to the “priest stiff in hate” and “women dressed as men for the pleasure of that priest.” The song concludes with, “They can work with Satan while they dress with the saints.” In short, the video reflects the artist—it is a mess.
Donohue has criticized the singer before regarding his public commentary on religion in the past, and he now says this has shown Bowie is:
Nothing if not confused about religion.
Take a look at the potent video and judge for yourself: