Madonna’s Instagram has seen her bathe in milk, sing about ‘fried fish’ to the tune of Vogue and compare herself to Nelson Mandela.

And Martin Luther King, And John Lennon. And Jesus.

But, with her most recent jaw-droppingly misjudged post, the debate is no longer charmingly eccentric or utterly cringe-inducing, but something else entirely.

On Thursday, the Material Girl shared a Covid-19 vaccination conspiracy theory.

Instagram promptly flagged her account for spreading misinformation and deleted the post, but the damage was done.

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In her message, the 61-year-old claimed a vaccine was being concealed, adding: ’They would rather let fear control the people and let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.’

David Baddiel put it best when he then said on Twitter: ‘Madonna knows she’s rich, right?’

The backlash was unprecedented, with everyone from Annie Lennox – who called the post ‘dangerous quackery’ – to Gay Twitter coming for the Hung Up singer.

I, for one, am confused.

I tell myself: ‘Surely she posted it without thinking, without researching?’ We’ve all been there, right? And now, the self-professed ‘Unapologetic Bitch’ is too proud to put things right.

If so, she’s only doing what she’s always done. She’s provocation personified. Her daring has changed the way society talks about sex and many other once-taboo subjects, and for that we’re indebted.

So why should she change her behaviour now she’s in her 60s? Why should the woman who sang Express Yourself cease to… express herself? 

The short answer is, she shouldn’t. And all criticism of her must be scrutinised for evidence of sexism and ageism.

I hope mine comes from a constructive and loving place, and not one of subconscious prejudice. And I hope she can rectify the few genuine mistakes she’s made. I want to hear that upcoming Dua Lipa collaboration, after all.

But I can’t deny I feel uneasy.

Madonna’s fall from grace, once inconceivable, now seems a genuine possibility. What’s worse is we might already be in the middle of it.

Metro.co.uk has contacted Madonna’s reps for comment. 

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