Madonna Dedicates L.A. Performance to Child Activist Shot in Pakistan
Hollywood Reporter: Madonna brought her eye-popping MDNA Tour to L.A.’s Staples Center on Wednesday night, where she dedicated a song to Malala
Yousafzai, the Pakistani child activist shot in the head and neck on
Tuesday by a masked member of the Taliban.
Dressed in a leather skirt and black beret, the music icon took a break from the evening’s theatrics to tell the sold-out crowd of 18,000 that it was time “to have our serious chat.”
“This made me cry,” Madonna said. “The 14-year-old schoolgirl who wrote a blog about going to school. The Taliban stopped her bus and shot her. Do you realize how sick that is?”
“Support education! Support women!” she shouted, to the crowd’s cheers of approval.
Yousafzai, one of the most outspoken and influential advocates for girls’ rights to education in the Middle East, remains unconscious in a hospital since the shooting. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said of the assassination attempt, “Let this be a lesson,” and pledged that the Taliban would try again to kill her should she survive her injuries.
Later in the show, Madonna performed a striptease, during which she turned her back to the audience to reveal the name “Malala” stenciled across it. “This song is for you, Malala,” she said, then launched into “Human Nature.” See more pictures here, if you dare.
“One thing I’ve realized during my travels is how lucky we Americans are,” she told the L.A. audience. “We are for sure an imperfect country with an imperfect government. But I tell you — the s— I have seen in the Ukraine and in Russia… May I remind you that two members of Pussy Riot are still in jail. In St. Petersburg, 75 men were arrested for being gay.”
The star took some delight in taunting the L.A. crowd — which included the likes of Jessica Alba, Heidi Klum, Neil Patrick Harris and Darren Criss of Glee — by throwing around the dreaded “J” word. “They say the people in L.A. are so jaded. That they’re not excited about anything because they’ve seen it all and have done it all. True?” Madonna asked. She then took the liberty of answering on behalf of the rowdy crowd. “F— no!”
How does a 54-year-old woman performing a strip tease garner support for a child activist shot by the Taliban? Look up classless in the dictionary and you’ll find Madonna’s picture next to it.