Madonna Apologizes for Posting Controversial 'Rebel Heart' Photos of Martin Luther King Jr. & Nelson Mandela [Photos]

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Ever since Madonna dropped her semi-surprise album Rebel Heart on iTunes a few weeks ago, the 55-year-old icon has been flooding our Instagram feed with fan-made images.


The images feature other popular public figures with black cables around their faces, inspired by Madonna’s own album artwork. They’re usually accompanied by some uplifting quote or call to arms about being a ‘rebel’.

Over the weekend, Madonna posted two photos in particular that rubbed people the wrong way — a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

Madonna captioned the above photos, ‘This #rebelheart fought for freedom!’ and ‘This #rebelheart had a dream!’

It seemed pretty harmless to us, but Madonna took to Facebook to apologize. She wrote:

“I’m sorry
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

What’s Madonna without controversy?

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