In the midnight hour, Pepsi finally felt the power of its previously canceled commercial starring Madonna.
The pop icon celebrated the release of the three-decade-old ad — which was pulled amid controversy surrounding Madonna's "Like a Prayer" music video — on Tuesday night, shortly after the brand re-released it during the 2023 MTV VMAs broadcast in celebration of the company's 125-year anniversary.
"34 years ago I made a commercial with Pepsi to celebrate the release of my song 'Like a Prayer.' 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," Madonna wrote overnight on Instagram. "Thank you @pepsi for finally realizing the genius of our collaboration. Artists are here to disturb the peace."
At the time of its original release, Pepsi reportedly paid Madonna a then-unprecedented $5 million to partner with the brand, which in turn would put her in a commercial centering on the hit song "Like a Prayer." However, after religious groups condemned the song's music video, which includes scenes of burning crosses, Pepsi nixed the ad.
A representative for Pepsi did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Madonna/ Instagram; Pepsi Madonna in her 1989 Pepsi commercial
"Like a Prayer" was eventually recognized in the modern era for its groundbreaking visuals, and Madonna continued to rattle conservative and religious factions throughout her career. Even her most recent album, Madame X, gave us the music video for "Dark Ballet," which starred rapper Mykki Blanco as a transgender iteration of Joan of Arc.
Madonna is set to embark on her Celebration world tour in Europe in October, after postponing the tour's initial North American leg this summer after she was hospitalized for a bacterial infection.
Read Madonna's Instagram post about her Pepsi commercial above.
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