Madonna has been catching a lot of flack on Twitter today for a series of photos on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. The photos depict lauded black civil rights leaders’ faces wrapped in wire, mimicking the album artwork for Rebel Heart. Madonna prefaced the images — which include Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Bob Marley — with an image of some stylized text reading, “Dear haters, I have so much MORE for you to be mad at…Be patient!” Madonna has posted faces of other icons in recent days (including Jesus Christ, Marilyn Monroe, and Michael Jackson). See the offending images below.
Some of the other images she’s shared are far too amateur to be an official PR move — and indeed they appear to be fan-made memes Madonna is passing on — but that doesn’t make this ill-advised (maybe completely unadvised?) marketing campaign any more tasteful. Specifically, an Italian video editor who goes by the Instagram handle @skinbruno seems to be responsible for the images of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, and a post yesterday suggests he’s disgruntled about not receiving any “credit” via Madonna’s account.
The pop star was also criticized in January of last year for using a racist hashtag on Instagram.
This Madonna album cycle keeps getting worse and worse.
UPDATE: Madonna explained herself on Facebook:
I’m not comparing my self to anyone
I’m admiring and acknowledging there Rebel Hearts
This is niether a crime or an insult or racist!
I also did it with Michael jaclson and frida khalo and marilyn monroe
Am I saying I am them
I’m saying they are Rebel Hearts too.
I didn’t do it
My fans did
And I just re posted those photos
My fans aren’t racist either
If they put me in the same category as these other people
Thank you. I’m very flattered and I hope one day to live up to 1 100th of what those people accomplished.” – Madonna