The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best in some of us ― and the worst in a few celebrities (see: Vanessa Hudgens, Evangeline Lilly, that peak-cringe celebrity “Imagine” singalong), so it was only a matter of time before Madonna entered the chat.
The pop icon has been keeping fans abreast of her quarantine activities on Instagram, breathlessly documenting how she has undergone a medical procedure, singing into a hairbrush about fried fish and typing a letter on her ironically branded Corona typewriter.
Totally failing to read the room, Madonna shared a video of herself on Saturday night in decadent rose-petal bath as she reflected on how the virus is society’s “great equalizer,” even though the pandemic has disproportionately impacted poor and marginalized communities.
“That’s the thing about COVID-19, it doesn’t care about how rich you are or how famous you are, how funny you are, how smart you are, where you live, how old you are, what amazing stories you can tell,” she said in the video. “It’s the great equalizer.”
She went on to add: “What’s terrible about it is what’s great about it. What’s terrible about it is it’s made us all equal in many ways and what’s wonderful about it is it’s made us all equal in many ways. Like I used to say at the end of human nature every night, we’re all in the same boat. If the ship goes down, we’re all going down together.”
While Madonna likely intended to offer a message of unity to her millions of fans, she failed to acknowledge that the most vulnerable populations are being hit hardest by the global public health crisis, as many in need work jobs that don’t offer paid sick leave and don’t have access to health insurance.
Not to mention the real lack of available testing to most of the population, despite a growing number of celebrities, sports figures and politicians with confirmed cases.
And Madonna’s followers took note, reminding the singer that the playing field is far from level when It comes to coronavirus and criticizing her for failing to acknowledge her own privilege.
“If the ship is going down, do you really think we’re going down together while you’re in your bathtub having people working for you to be there?” one person commented. “I love you, my queen. But things outside your mansion are very different from what you think. Stay safe and a be a little more empathic to the less privileged ones.”
“Sorry my queen, love u so much, but we’re not equal,” a different follower wrote. “We can die from the same diseases, but the poor will suffer the most. Do not romanticize nothing of this tragedy.”
Another disappointed fan commented: “Said in a rose bath in a mansion in Lisbon.”
Madonna hasn’t responded to the backlash, but she has continued to share her coronavirus-related thoughts on social media.
The Grammy winner is one of many artists to cancel concerts amid the pandemic, scrapping the final dates of her Madame X tour in Paris earlier this month due to restrictions on gatherings.
A HuffPost Guide to Coronavirus