19. Madonna’s Like a Prayer music video was denounced by the Vatican
Madonna’s music career has always been boundary-pushing, so it’s no surprise that she’s been followed by criticism right from the beginning. Many of her music videos have been blasted as too sexual, too taboo or just too offensive by critics, and her video for Like a Prayer was no exception. When Madonna released the video she was met with outrage and horror from the Vatican, who claimed that it contained blasphemous uses of Christian imagery. The Vatican took issue with the fact that, amongst other things, the video featured footage of Madonna passionately making out with a statue of a crying saint.
Between the statue kissing, her somewhat revealing outfit choices, and the fact that she sets several crucifixes on fire throughout the video, many Christians felt it necessary to protest against Madonna and everything she represented. Not only that, but the video’s original purpose as a Pepsi advert was also abandoned completely, with the company wanting to distance themselves from the controversy.
18. A 15-year-old Brooke Shields starred in a racy Calvin Klein advert
Brooke Shields rose to prominence as a child star in the late 70s and early 80s, but she caused a major scandal when she appeared in a Calvin Klein advert at just 15. In the ad, Shields is rather scantily clad, and says the risque line “You wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” The implication of a 15-year-old girl going commando did not go down well in the press, and the ad was considered highly inappropriate even at the time.
Still, for Shields herself it was just the latest in a series of scandals, given that she was fresh off filming a movie in which her character fell in love with her cousin. Despite both Shields and her costar being underage, the film was full of simulated sex, and also featured the two raising a child together. Critics also raised alarm bells over the fact that Shields was barely clothed for most of the movie, and was technically simulating incest on-screen.