Banned Madonna Pepsi Advert Plays During The MTV Video Music Awards

14 September 2023 | 1:22 pm | Mary Varvaris

"Thank you Pepsi for finally realising the genius of our collaboration."


Madonna (Source: Supplied)

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During the Video Music Awards (VMAs) that aired yesterday, viewers witnessed a new/old Pepsi advert starring Madonna promoting her hit single, Like A Prayer.

Unbeknownst to casual award show viewers, the advertisement had been banned when it was supposed to be released 34 years ago. The clip, which saw Madonna say “Go ahead, make a wish” and kissing a black saint, caused controversy when it initially aired and was pulled from the airwaves.

The commercial wasn’t necessarily controversial, but due to Like A Prayer causing upset amongst religious groups, including the Catholic Church, the Pepsi advert was pulled by association.

After the advertisement finally aired, Madonna took to social media and thanked Pepsi for playing the clip all these years later.

“34 years ago I made a commercial with Pepsi to celebrate the release of my song Like a Prayer,” the Holiday singer wrote on Instagram yesterday (13 September).

She continued, “The commercial was immediately canceled when I refused to change any scenes in the video where I was kissing a black saint or burning crosses. So began my illustrious career as an artist refusing to compromise my artistic integrity.”

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Madonna ended the post by writing “Thank you Pepsi for finally realising the genius of our collaboration”. She added, “Artists are here to disturb the peace.”

You can watch the commercial below.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Madonna was paid an eye-watering $5 million to partner with Pepsi at the time of filming. Despite the advertisement getting banned, she was still paid.

Earlier this year, Madonna was reportedly “in the clear” after being hospitalised with a bacterial infection. Addressing her fans, the Material Girl singer wrote, “I’m on the road to recovery and incredibly grateful for all the blessings in my life.”

While Oceania dates could come later, it looks like Australian and New Zealand fans won't be visited by the Queen Of Pop on her Celebration world tour, which begins this year.

Since announcing the Celebration tour in January, Madonna’s biopic starring Ozark’s Julia Garner was reportedly scrapped, she unveiled the controversial original music video for American Life after 20 years, her SEX book is heading for auction next month, and she collaborated with Sam Smith on the track Vulgar.