By Elias Leigh/Rolling Stone
HITS 105, a radio station in Texarkana, Texas, announced it will stop playing Madonna’s music on Tuesday, Billboard reports. The station’s manager accused the singer of expressing “un-American sentiments.”
Last Saturday, Madonna spoke out against Donald Trump during a speech at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. “Yes, I’m angry,” she told the crowd. “Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair.”
HITS general manager Terry Thomas suggested that his decision to remove the singer’s music from the on-air rotation was motivated not by partisanship, but by jingoism. “Banning all Madonna songs at HITS 105 is not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of patriotism,” he said in a statement. “It just feels wrong to us to be playing Madonna songs and paying her royalties when the artist has shown un-American sentiments. If all stations playing Madonna took their lead from us, that would send a powerful economic message to Madonna.”
Madonna’s comments also drew criticism from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who condemned Madonna during interviews with Fox News. “[Madonna] is parallel to the young fascists who ran around town breaking windows, all of whom should be given the maximum sentence,” Gingrich asserted on Fox & Friends. “What you have is an emerging left-wing fascism. She’s part of it, and I think we have to be prepared to protect ourselves.”
On Sunday, Madonna urged her detractors to “understand my speech in its entirety rather than one phrase taken wildly out of context.” “I am not a violent person,” she wrote on Instagram. “I do not promote violence.”
According to Billboard, HITS 105 is not monitored by Nielsen Soundscan, so it’s unclear if Madonna was played regularly on the station before Tuesday’s announcement.