January 23, 2017 / 1:29 AM / 9 months ago

Singer Madonna defends 'blowing up the White House' remark

Madonna performs at the Women's March in Washington U.S., January 21, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - Pop singer Madonna, who said in a profanity-laced speech at Saturday’s Women’s March in Washington, D.C., that she had thought about “blowing up the White House,” said on Sunday that she was speaking metaphorically.

Madonna’s speech, which was criticized on social media, led some television networks to abruptly stop their live feeds of the march, which drew hundreds of thousands of people in demonstrations across the United States to protest the election of Donald Trump as president.

“I am not a violent person,” the singer songwriter said on Instagram. “I spoke in metaphor and I shared two ways of looking at things — one was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt.”

The 58-year-old led the crowd on Saturday in chants of, “Yes, we’re ready” to take on policies promoted by Trump, who alienated many women during the election campaign with comments’ about rivals’ attractiveness and promises to outlaw or diminish abortion rights.

Trump’s comments in a decade-old video declaring that women would allow him, as a celebrity, to kiss and grope them without their consent further outraged many women.

But Madonna preceded the chants with coarse words for critics of the march.

“To our detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything, fuck you,” the pop star said. She then repeated the expletive.

Her words drew immediate criticism on social media. On Youtube, where the speech was posted live and in recorded formats, several users called the singer “evil.”

Others expressed outrage over her comment that she had thought about blowing up the White House. On Twitter, some users demanded that she be investigated for making terrorist threats.

Turnout for Saturday’s march was unprecedented, as organizers took credit for mobilizing 5 million marchers worldwide.

Official crowd estimates for the Washington centerpiece of the demonstration were not available, but turnout in the nation’s capital clearly exceeded the 200,000 projected in advance by organizers, filling long stretches of downtown Washington around the White House and the National Mall.

Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Calif.; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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