A Thursday night Madonna club show in Paris intended to promote tolerance ended with a round of boos and intolerance … aimed at Madonna. What was billed as an intimate show at the City of Light’s 2,700-capacity l’Olympia, streamed live on YouTube, turned into a public relations disaster when the 53-year-old singer left the stage after just 45 minutes.
The abrupt end to the show prompted cries of “refund!” from some and forced YouTube to disable comments on the stream early Friday morning after it garnered more than 12,000 dislikes, according to the Associated Press.
In addition to some asking for their money back after Madonna took the stage at 10:15 p.m. and departed around 11 p.m., a few angered fans shouted insults such as “salope” (the French word for “slut”) at the star, who has been embroiled in controversy over the past week for her use of a Nazi swastika symbol on her current tour.
The worst part? The venue was packed with Madonna die-hards, since the tickets were made available only to members of her official fan club, before being released to the general public, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Many gathered outside the venue hours before, some sleeping on the street overnight in order to get a good spot. After the show, though, a number were back out on the avenue shouting “give us our money back!” in French.
An earlier invitation to followers to tweet about the special event ended up backfiring when some attendees used the #MDNAParis hashtag to complain. One angry fan who took to Twitter to vent, wrote in French, “280? for a seat + 10 minutes of a speech + 40 minutes of a show + 2 days of camping in front of the #Olympia = #Madonna #MDNA #Paris #thatsucks.”
The concert was a last-minute addition to Madonna’s schedule, tacked on shortly after France’s far-right National Front party threatened to sue the singer over a video she showed during a Bastille Day (July 14) gig in Paris that featured an image of party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her forehead.
“I know that I made a certain Marine Le Pen very angry with me,” Madonna said during the l’Olympia show , which mixed her hits with covers by French singer Serge Gainsbourg and homages to such national icons as Alain Delon and Edith Piaf. “And it’s not my intention to make enemies … It’s my intention to promote tolerance. And when we start saying that we have to get rid of this person or we have to get rid of that person, because then we’ll have a better place, it starts to sound like something else, it starts to sound like something scary. So the next time you want to point the finger at somebody and blame them for a problem in your life, take that finger and point it back at you.”
Madonna, who has made headlines on the tour for serially flashing her naughty bits to her audience and for refusing to give up a section of the show in which she brandishes handguns and automatic rifles in the wake of the tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado , defended her use of the Nazi imagery before the Paris show.
“There seems to be a growing intolerance around the world. In Greece, France, everywhere, people are trying to kick out all the immigrants, make people cover up and not show what their religious affiliation is. Think about what’s going on in Russia towards the gay community,” Madonna said in an interview with a Brazilian TV station. “I’m calling attention to that intolerance and asking people to pay attention, to wake up to see how we are just creating more chaos in the world.”
The latest flap comes less than a week after the surprise announcement that the Australian leg of her MDNA tour would be scrapped without explanation.