Singer Madonna has drawn harsh criticism on social media for sharing a video of her son dancing to a Michael Jackson song to honour George Floyd and protest “all acts of Racism.”
The video sees 14-year-old David Banda passionately performing and raising a fist to the tune of Jackson’s 1995 protest anthem, ‘They Don’t Care About Us.’
“Brutal murder travels around the world my son David Dances to honour and pay tribute to George and His Family and all Acts of Racism and Discrimination that happen on a daily basis in America,” Madonna wrote, along with the trending hashtag #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.
While her intentions were noble, the clip and caption prompted mixed feelings on Twitter, with some criticising the ‘Like A Prayer’ singer for being tone-deaf and “out of touch.”
“I really appreciate you for allowing your son to dance away the racism for us,” read one person’s snarky reply.
“Wow. Racism is gone,” echoed another. “Thank you girl.”
Former NBA star Rex Chapman called the tribute “maybe the worst tweet of all time,” writing, “‘Come dance in the kitchen for racism’ is a weird take.”
Several accused the pop icon of forcing her son to dance for the camera so she could post it online, though the video doesn’t show how the performance came about.
“‘David come dance for your people,’” multiple people imagined her saying.
Others were less critical, pointing to the song’s timely message and praising Madonna and her son for the gesture.
“Thank you for posting this, most people don’t even realise or listen to the words that he was dancing to,” one person wrote. “They don’t listen, they don’t hear, they make a split judgement with their eyes. That is what is wrong with this country. My heart aches tonight worse than ever.”
On Wednesday, Madonna called the viral footage of Floyd — which shows a white police officer kneeling on his neck, even as he pleads, “I can’t breathe” — “the most sickening, heartbreaking thing [I’ve] seen in a long time.”
The four police officers involved in the arrest were fired after Floyd died on Monday and video of the encounter began circulating, but many are demanding more justice. Unrest and looting has taken hold in Minneapolis since Tuesday night.
“This Officer knew he was being filmed and murdered him with arrogance and Pride,” Madonna wrote on Instagram. “This has to stop!! Until we can over come Racism in America — no one should be allowed to carry a gun. Most of all cops.”
Madonna is one of several celebrities expressing their outrage at Floyd’s killing. Other entertainers speaking up in the wake of his death include Beyonce, John Boyega, Ava DuVernay, Taylor Swift, Gabrielle Union, Cardi B, Cynthia Erivo, Lupita Nyong’o, Demi Lovato, Viola Davis, Janelle Monae and many more.
“God Bless you George Floyd Im so sorry for you and your family,” Madonna continued. “And all the senseless killings that have gone before you. Will it ever end?”