New York- Madonna is defending herself against criticism after she posted Instagram photos of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela that were altered to look like her own image on her new album.
Madonna’s cover for the album “Rebel Heart” is a closeup of her face with black string on it. Her social media posts show the faces of King and Mandela doctored to make it appear as though they have similar string on their faces. Some consider the posts offensive.
In a statement posted on her Facebook page late Friday night, Madonna said she was not comparing herself to them but acknowledging that they were rebels. She also said the images were fan-generated and defended herself against claims of racism, adding she also posted other famous faces who were not black.
Madonna’s altered Mandela, King pics spark outrage http://t.co/QhhNnRylOJ
— Lawrence Abiodun (@ElevatedBlog) January 3, 2015
— Wonkette (@Wonkette) January 3, 2015
“I’m sorry, Madonna wrote. “I’m not comparing myself to anyone. I’m admiring and acknowledging (their) Rebel Hearts.
“This is (neither) a crime or an insult or racist!” she added, citing the fact she also altered photos of Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and artist Frida Kahlo.
“Am I saying I am them?” the star continued. “NO. I’m saying they are Rebel Hearts too.”
She also took to Instagram to further clarify why she shared the altered images of iconic figures.
“When I repost these images (I) am saying YES!,” she captioned an altered photo of John Lennon.
“These people are all Rebel Hearts in one way or another from Martin Luther King to Jesus to Nelson Mandela to John Lennon. YES! Lets celebrate them! The world needs more people like them.”