As the fifth anniversary of Madonna and Britney Spears’ kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards nears, it seems fair that the subject of Spears would come up in the course of Madonna’s interview with Vanity Fair’s Rich Cohen.
However, if events played out exactly as they appear in the magazine’s April cover story, Madonna didn’t even give Cohen the chance to pose a pointed question on the subject matter of Spears.
“Yes, I know. I know exactly what you’re going to say. It’s very painful,” Madonna, who turns 50 this summer, told Cohen when she sensed Spears was coming up. Cleverly, she answered the would-be question in the context of a subject she’d rather shed light on, Africa.
“When you think about the way people treat each other in Africa, about witchcraft and people inflicting cruelty and pain on each other, then come back here and, you know, people taking pictures of people when they’re in their homes, being taken to hospitals, or suffering, and selling them, getting energy from them, that’s a terrible infliction of cruelty. So who’s worse off? You know what I mean?”
The enigmatic Material Girl is rarely portrayed as thoroughly as she is in this issue of Vanity Fair. Kabbalah, the adoption of her son David from Malawi, the impact of having her family and their television habits are among the subjects touched upon in the piece. Madonna’s answers seem candid, and maybe a little humorless if your mind’s eye defaults to an image of Madonna in the ‘80s. Either way, it’s worth the read.