Pop star Madonna took to social media on Sunday to defend controversial comments she made during the Women's March on Washington. In a profanity-laden speech, the singer slammed President Trump for his remarks about women and said she had thought about "blowing up the White House."
But after the latter statement and her use of expletives drew intense backlash for their perceived violence in tone, Madonna felt she had to clarify that she was not speaking literally.
"I am not a violent person," she wrote in a statement on Instagram. "I spoke in metaphor and I shared two ways of looking at things - one was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt."
Madonna was one of many celebrities and performers, including Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron, Ian McKellan and Rihanna, who took part in the march and its hundreds of sister events across the globe.
'We are here to be respected'
Actress Ashley Judd also gave an impassioned speech, in which she condemned Trump's "hate speech" and spoke of the hostility she perceived the president and his administration displayed towards anyone in the media or the public eye who criticizes him.
"We are not here to be debunked; we are here to be respected," she said. During the presidential campaign, audio recordings from a 2005 television event surfaced in which President Trump could be heard saying disrespectful things about women, including making light of groping them.
Indeed, organizers stressed that the Women's March on Washington was not simply about displaying opposition to Trump the day after his inauguration. According to the event's website, it was to highlight the fact that even in 2017, women and minorities still need to fight for equal rights and opportunities.
Turnout for Saturday's march was unprecedented, with well over the 200,000 expected participants showing up in the US capital. Some academics have said that it was likely the largest protest in US history, and organizers estimated that some 5 million marchers had been mobilized worldwide.
es/kl (AP, Reuters)