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David Bowie's 'The Next Day' Clip Attacked by Catholic League

'The video reflects the artist – it is a mess,' group says online

May 9, 2013 8:20 AM ET
David Bowie
David Bowie
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Not everyone is excited about David Bowie's return: The Catholic League yesterday attacked the singer's new video for "The Next Day," calling it the work of a "switch-hitting, bisexual senior citizen from London" that "is strewn with characteristic excess."

Catholic League president Bill Donohue made his comments in a statement posted on the group's website. Bowie wrote and Floria Sigismondi directed the video, which features Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. The clip shows priests frolicking with scantily clad women in a nightclub where a Christ-like singer, played by Bowie, is performing. One of the women, played by Cotillard, develops stigmata, and Bowie disappears in a wink, presumably to ascend into heaven.

David Bowie Features Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard in 'The Next Day'

"In short, the video reflects the artist it is a mess," Donohue wrote, noting Bowie's statements over the years about various faiths and dogmas demonstrate the singer "is nothing if not confused about religion."

The Catholic League and Donohue have criticized entertainers for insufficient piety before, including Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, Jamie Foxx and Bill Maher.

Donohue wasn't the only one to take issue with the video for "The Next Day": YouTube briefly pulled the clip yesterday for violating its terms of service, before restoring ita few hours later. "With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call," a YouTube spokesperson told Billboard. The song comes from Bowie's latest album, The Next Day, which came out in March.

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