[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
NBC cuts Madonna 'crucifixion'
Madonna on stage in London
Some 1.2m people are said to have attended Madonna's 60 shows
Concert footage of Madonna suspended from a giant cross is to be cut from a US television broadcast.

NBC said the mock crucifixion, staged during the song Live to Tell on the star's recent Confessions tour, would be cut from next month's transmission.

US and European church groups have condemned the mock crucifixion.

But Madonna has insisted it is not "anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous", and is part of an appeal for donations to Aids charities.

A number of US religious groups threatened to boycott one of the broadcast's commercial sponsors if the crucifixion was included.

An NBC spokesman did not explain the move, saying the broadcaster did not discuss editorial decisions.

'Plea to mankind'

Liz Rosenberg, a Warner Bros Records spokeswoman for Madonna, told Reuters news agency: "She wanted it in, and they wanted it out.

"You won't see Madonna on a crucifix. That element of the song is no longer in the show. How they came to that conclusion I really don't know."

In Germany, prosecutors monitored the show to see if legal action should be taken.

And a priest in the Netherlands was arrested after making a hoax bomb threat in an attempt to stop the concerts.

Madonna performs in Russia
Madonna's Moscow concert was her first show in Russia

The crucifix segment shows the singer suspended from a giant mirrored cross wearing a crown of thorns.

Images of poverty in the developing world are shown on video screens, while numbers tick away to represent the 12m African children orphaned by Aids.

Madonna has said: "It is no different than a person wearing a cross. My performance is neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous."

She added: "It is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another.

"I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would be doing the same thing."

The four-month Confessions world tour was the highest-earning show by a female artist, according to US magazine Billboard.

Madonna defends gig 'crucifixion'
22 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Madonna world tour 'sets record'
21 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Madonna sings on cross in Russia
13 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Priest admits Madonna bomb hoax
08 Sep 06 |  Europe
Madonna defies prosecution threat
20 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Rome 'unites to condemn Madonna'
03 Aug 06 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific