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 Censorship & Scandals
Sinead O'Connor - Cover of ROLLING STONE magazineSinead O'Connor on SNL - During a live 10/3/92 appearance on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, Irish rock singer Sinead O'Connor ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II at the conclusion of singing Bob Marley's "War" (sung a capella) Sinead remarked "Fight the real enemy."

O'Connor's action reflected her anger at the Catholic church and their non-support of women's rights in Ireland. Many complained to NBC for airing such an overt display of blasphemy. When singer Frank Sinatra heard about it, he was quoted as saying he wanted to "punch" the singer "right in the mouth."

When the program was rerun, the photo tearing scene was cut. NBC was eventually fined $2.5 million dollars by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the outrageous event.

Five years later, Sinead O'Connor apologized to the Pope for her antics. In an interview with the Italian weekly newspaper Vita (September 22, 1997), Sinead claimed that her photo ripping had been "a ridiculous act, the gesture of a girl rebel...I was in rebellion against the faith, but I was still within the faith."


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