In a Tuesday interview with Australian television presenter Andrew Denton, singer Madonna suggested that Jesus Christ would have favored a woman’s right to undergo an abortion.
While promoting her newly released album Madame X, Madonna veered off on several tangents about the Catholic Church and Pope Francis. After a joke from Denton about her and the pope knocking back drinks, the Material Girl singer said she wouldn’t be surprised if the opportunity presented itself. “One day he might invite me. I think this one might,” she said, before listing off what the pair would discuss.
“Let’s talk about Jesus’ point of view about women,” Madonna mused about what she would talk about with the pope. “Let’s talk about it. What do you really think he thought of women? And don’t you think Jesus would agree that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body? I think he would be open to having that conversation with me.”
In 2015, Madonna said that despite being purportedly “excommunicated” by the Catholic Church on numerous occasions, the possibility of her and the pope meeting up to talk about hot-button issues wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility. “I also feel like this new pope is kind of groovy, and I think we might be able to get together and have a chat about sex,” she said at the time.
Madonna’s remarks come as Hollywood is ratching up its pressure campaign against states that have recently passed strict abortion laws. Republican governors in Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio have signed their own “heartbeat” bills in the last year, barring the killing of infants after a fetal heartbeat is detected — which occurs within six weeks of pregnancy. Last month, Missouri lawmakers passed similar legislation, becoming the eighth state to do so. On the same day, the Texas House of Representatives approved a measure aimed at banning any state or local government from using taxpayer money to partner with abortion providers.
Major Hollywood studios in recent weeks have joined Netflix in saying they may reevaluate filming in Georgia if the state’s abortion law goes into effect. The state is known for its lucrative tax incentives for filming.
WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the Walt Disney Co. followed the streaming service’s lead earlier this week with a deluge of statements, breaking a three-week silence from the big players in entertainment on the law.
Although individuals in Hollywood had been vocal on the matter and smaller production companies had weighed in on plans to boycott, pull productions, or donate money to help organizations fighting the law, as J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele pledged to do with Lovecraft Country, the silence from the big players was conspicuous. And none of the major studios have definitely pledged to pull productions from Georgia or other states that have recently enacted strict new abortion laws.
Disney CEO Bob Iger told Reuters that it would be difficult to continue filming there if it becomes law. Iger said that the company has heard from people who say they won’t work there should the law take effect.
Many Georgians, from politicians to the people who work on film sets, worry about the adverse effects of the law. Georgia’s Democratic lawmakers and local film workers have urged Hollywood to keep production in the state. Boycotts, some say, are not the response they are looking for.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.