Wow, Madonna hated her NYT profile: ‘It makes me feel raped’

Last night, I took the time to read Madonna’s New York Times profile, “Madonna at 60.” I ended up liking it, and I ended up liking Madonna more than I expected to like her. That being said, I called the piece “overwrought and overwritten” in my earlier coverage, and it’s true. Madonna’s “later years” have been marked by her willingness to explain more of herself and her art, and she’s become a much better interview in the past, say, five years. But in the NYT piece, her quotes and asides were dropped into these mammoth expositional paragraphs which were largely about the NYT writer. As it turns out, Madonna didn’t like it. She posted this message on Instagram just a short time ago:

Madame ❌ on the cover of N.Y.T. Magazine photographed by my dear friend @jr……….Also sharing my fav photo that never made it in, along with pre-shoot chat and a celebratory glass of wine 🍷 after many hours of work! To say that I was disappointed in the article would be an understatement-

It seems. You cant fix society, And its endless need to diminish, Disparage or degrade that which they know is good. Especially string independent women. The journalist who wrote this article spent days and hours and months with me and was invited into a world which many people dont get to see, but chose to focus on trivial and superficial matters such as the ethnicity of my stand in or the fabric of my curtains and never ending comments about my age which would never have been mentioned had I been a MAN! Women have a really hard time being the champions of other women even if. they are posing as intellectual feminists.

Im sorry i spent 5 minutes with her. It makes me feel raped. And yes I’m allowed to use that analogy having been raped at the age of 19. Further proof that the N.Y.T. Is one of the founding fathers of the Patriarchy. And I say—-DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY woven deep into the fabric of Society. I will never stop fighting to eradicate it.

[From Madonna’s Instagram]

Again, she’s not wrong. There were long sections of descriptions of people around Madonna or boring asides about her past whatever, and it was all so unnecessary. The article could have been a lot shorter while still keeping some of the fun details, like the part about all of the artwork in her London home, or some of Madonna’s funnier one-liners (I’m still thinking about one great line about an older woman making art is treated like a crime). Madonna’s also not wrong about all of the age talk – so much of the article was about her age, even the headline, “Madonna at 60.” That being said, that *is* one of the most fascinating things about her, that she’s still creating art and trying to be a pop star at her age. As for the “rape” metaphor (which she used in the NYT piece too), I find it problematic and just a stupid metaphor to use. It’s clear that Madonna is doing it in this case to be provocative.

Photos courtesy of Madonna.

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31 Responses to “Wow, Madonna hated her NYT profile: ‘It makes me feel raped’”

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  1. elimaeby says:

    I just commented on the post about the NYT profile for her use of how something made her “feel raped”. She needs to stop with that. It’s disgustingly hyperbolic at best and horribly triggering and cruel, at worst.

    • Wow says:

      You know what is “like rape” rape…. I have had to do enough rape kits in my time to know there is no god damn comparison to something that traumatic.

      We need to stop supporting women who hurt women. I’m over Madge and her decrepit outdated version of feminism which is not just white centric, but her centric. I can’t even blame this on white feminism, her issue is feminism is only for HER.

      I’m annoyed and over it and are we seriously going to continue ignoring the colonists bull*hit she did in Africa?

      • kerwood says:

        A few weeks ago, when Madonna was quoted as saying that her son, David, was most like and had her DNA, my first thought was, ‘you mean the little boy you STOLE from his home and family in Africa?’

        At the time, it appeared to be a trend for Hollywood actresses to adopt Black children. Several of them got one or two of their own. But Madonna decided to one-up all of them by going to the source. When I heard about how she went about adopting those children and how their families felt about it, I lost the minuscule speck of respect I had for that woman.

      • Bob says:

        To kerwood-
        Your idea of the adoption details is incorrect.
        Madonna’s adopted children were living in orphanages before she adopted them. David’s father was alive, but had no interest in the child until after Madonna sought to adopt him.
        She did not steal them in any way. The adoptions were approved by the orphanages and by the government of Malawi.
        All of her children, adopted and biological, have gone back to Africa multiple times to work with the communities there.
        Madonna saved three children from living in poverty and misery, but, hey, that’s nothing to respect, right?

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree. And as a survivor of it herself, she should know better.

      It’s classic Madonna though – she says something right/true, and then follows it up with something else terrible or controversial for attention.

      • HaHa says:

        She knows. Did you read the entire extract? She used her survivor status in that quote to deflect criticism for using that word, which to me, makes it ploy to be provocative.

        Instead of “rape” she could have used other words such as “violated” but that wouldn’t get as much attention.

    • little bird says:

      this!! i can’t believe she’s made this comment not once but TWICE this week. absolutely bonkers.

    • Jadedone says:

      Couldn’t agree more

  2. ex-Mel says:

    ” That being said, that *is* one of the most fascinating things about her, that she’s still creating art and trying to be a pop star at her age.”

    Huh? Why? “Her age” is 60, not 90, and she’s been doing this forever. It’s not like she suddenly became decrepit. Also, there are plenty of male musicians older than her who are still creating.

    • lolalola3 says:

      YES! Thank you ex-Mel. My thoughts exactly. Plenty of male musicians, movie stars, designers where age is never even mentioned.

  3. MG says:

    I was “shooketh” – as the kids say – with her vociferous response to the profile. I rather enjoyed it too but I do now see how it is actually is more about the author than the subject. I wonder what Grigoriadis is feeling right now. Though she takes herself a little too seriously, always on team Madonna.

  4. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Ummm no. Her age is NOT of the most facsinating things about her. There are lots of women her age who are still doing the thing and creating and excelling and thriving and we need to stop treating it like a damn anomaly. Because it isn’t. Mick Jagger is 75 fucking years old and no one is going around talking about how “facsinating” it is that he is he still making music. We applaud him and talk about how great it is.

    • Amelie says:

      Ugh yeah Diana Ross is 75, Dolly Parton is also over 70, Marina Abramovic is also over 70 and still creating art. Look at Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Maggie Smith, Cher, etc. I can keep going! Sure she is super successful and has been since she started her career as a young woman in the 1980s and she is definitely an icon. But her age is the least interesting thing about her. It is sexist to focus on her age.

  5. perplexed says:

    Is it considered weird that she’s still making music because of the type of music she makes? Paul McCartney and Mick jagger still put out music. Bob Dylan does too. Aren’t they all still singing until they die? They don’t really know any other world than the one they’ve been in since they were teens… I think there are a lot of females that also keep making music — they just tend to retreat into a more private life than Madonna has, but I don’t think they quit their jobs either.

    I didn’t think the article was bad. I think the only problem I might have with it is that the author used “I” a lot, but I suspect that’s how journalists are tough to make writing appear more accessible. I think it’s an issue of technique they’re taught to use. Yeah, the author talked about the furniture, but they’re likely taught to write up “scenes.” That’s the way these genres work.

    • Erinn says:

      I think it’s mainly the kind of music and the way she portrays herself. It really does seem like she’s desperate to cling to a youthful bordering immature persona. I don’t think most older musicians try to stay relevant in the vapid pop kind of stage of things – at least not the majority. Most seem to hang out in the more classic rock or adult contemporary kind of genres, or focus more on songwriting for younger singers. I don’t think there’s any shame in wanting to keep working in the industry even as a performer. I just think that most successful musicians don’t hang out in the dancy pop genre for as long as she has. And they don’t usually yell about ageism while they’re acting like immature divas.

      Part of me thinks that MAYBE it’s a case of her not knowing how to do something more mature or something that can stand on it’s own without the spectacle. She’s had some wildly popular hits – but she seems so stuck on reliving that kind of experience rather than kicking ass and growing.

  6. Harryg says:

    I can see how you’d feel disappointed, spending a lot of time with a journalist, thinking you’re really actually talking about something, and then out comes the same article as always.

  7. Naan says:

    Yeah I mean no one talks about Mick Jagger this way and glob knows if he stayed still long enough he would be mistaken for a corpse. The list of old dood rockers is loooong and they never get this shiiite.

  8. hoopjumper says:

    I understand she is a rape victim, so she knows of what she speaks, but man I wish “rape” was grounded as a metaphor.

    • Catarina says:

      Yes, Madonna’s use of “rape” in the context she puts it is deeply and undeniably offensive. She is so self centered, and so ruthless, that she doesn’t care how her words hit true rape survivors. If SHE wants to say something awful, she will not filter herself and her “rights” to say whatever she wants, she will say things no matter how much they hurt other people, not one thought or concern of their repercussions on others. This is a woman who knows no mercy, kindness, or compassion for others, and who never will.

  9. Veronica S. says:

    I get her frustration, but man, I cannot tell you how annoying it is to hear the word “rape” bandied about like it’s nothing, particularly from somebody who absolutely knows better. The English language has more words in its lexicon than any other in the world. We are literally infamous for our sheer number of synonyms. Insulted. Aggrieved. Affronted. Libeled. Slighted. Defamed. Hell, use DEFILED if you absolutely must use a term implying violation. Any of these will work. Any of these would be better.

    • Kateeeee says:

      Yes. This is the only thing that really bothered me, her use of rape (a second time in a few days) and then her immediate defense that she could say it because she had been raped. Um… not sure that’s how that works, but if you truly think having your work/thoughts/time undervalued or erased is equivalent to that experience… just go home, madame. We’re at trash capacity.

  10. Jane says:

    To me, so much of what she says is a word salad . I used to like her, but no any more.

  11. ariel says:

    I have Madonna fatigue. I was more of a rock girl than a pop girl as a teen in the 80s, though obviously her videos (Borderline is still great) were ubiquitous on Mtv during that time.
    In my mid 20s the Immaculate Collection is what my roommates and I listened to every night getting ready to go out. We loved all that stuff.
    But after a lifetime, I’m just tired of Madonna.
    I do not need to hear her wax poetic.
    She is right about the patriarchy, she is right about a lot of things.
    But it is wrapped in so much narcissism.

  12. Dee Kay says:

    Madonna broke ground and I will always remember 80s and 90s Madonna with great fondness but she is not aging well and I am not talking about her looks or her music. I’m talking about her personality, and what she has to say to the world. She used to send out messages that the world really needed to hear, they were simple and basic but strong: women are free to do whatever they g-ddamn please, women have the right to control their own bodies and make choices for themselves, queer people are people, queer sex is good, and the everlasting message, it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be whoever you are, just be true to yourself. But what is Madonna saying to the world today? The only message I am really getting is all in the first person, “I’m Madonna/Madame X, I’m still here, I’m still relevant, I’m still important, I’m being misjudged, I’m being mistreated, pay attention to me.” Madonna used to be the kind of pop figure that others could look to for inspiration for their own empowerment. But today, I am not getting any useful inspiration from her, I only hope that I have gained more wisdom and can articulate a more well-rounded worldview by the time I’m 60.

    • Jenns says:

      This. All of this.

      Yes, we live in a sexist, unfair society where men can age, but women cannot. But the Madonna I remember would’ve said “f**k that” and kept going. And while she may not appeal to a young generation, she still has fans, who have aged right along with her, and want to hear what she has to say. But instead she’s just trying to cling to her youth with bad plastic surgery, stupid butt implants, massively filtered selfies and mediocre pop music. It’s not a good look. Nor is playing the victim.

  13. Chaine says:

    Maybe Madonna cannot accept that she herself just isn’t that interesting any more? I couldnt bring myself to read the N.Y.T. interview because i kind of knew it would just be more of the same self absorbed twaddle, and now that she is getting fake angry in order to draw people to read the article, I am even less interested.

  14. otaku fairy... says:

    Cringe. I guess I’ll have to look at the whole article at some point.

  15. LondonLozza says:

    I can’t even bring myself to type the word today. It happened to me. For some reason I just find it so upsetting and unnecessary when people throw that word around, thinking that it’s ok to use it as a descriptor for something they didn’t like, or that it makes them cool to use it as a description. It’s not and it doesn’t make you cool, or edgy. It’s diminishing the truth and the nature of the word. It’s degrading. It’s hurtful. It’s thoughtless. This particular use of the word by her, in two articles I’ve now read on this website in the last day or so, just really makes me sad to my soul.

    • Caela says:

      I would like to offer you a virtual hug LondonLozza. I totally agree with what you said – you put it so well.

      • LondonLozza says:

        Thank you Caela :)
        I’m normally pretty immune to these things, but today it just really struck me hard and made me so deeply sad.

  16. kristen says:

    Whatever. Madonna is allowed to feel what she feels, sure. But Madonna is an icon of what it means to be a strong woman. She symbolizes so much. She’s a benchmark. So I’m not surprised that the woman who wrote the article projected so much of herself and her female experience into it. A lot of women remember their first Madonna album, or how they felt seeing Madonna objectify herself. Unfortunately her age is one of the most interesting things about her… because she’s past society’s sell-by date for a sexually-provocative female musician. Fin.