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Madonna (Sorta) Apologizes For Using Civil Rights Leaders in Album Promotion

The pop icon steps back from images used to promote 'Rebel Heart'

Madonna’s thirteenth studio album Rebel Heart is set to hit stores on March 10, and as ever the lead-up has been a rollercoaster ride. The fact that Diplo, Sophie, and Blood Diamonds are handling some of the production and the surprise release of a handful of the tracks from the record have served as relative highpoints in the campaign, but a massive low came just last week when Madge was accused of cultural appropriation when she used images of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Bob Marley on her Instagram as a means of promoting the record. Now, via Stereogum, she’s offered something of an apology for using those images, mostly by saying that it was her fans that created the images, she just reposted them.

“I’m sorry,” the MDNA singer began. “I’m not comparing my self to anyone, I’m admiring and acknowledging their Rebel Hearts. This is neither a crime or an insult or racist!”

Continuing, she said that she didn’t mean to say that she was like them, but that “they are Rebel Hearts too.” More confusingly, however, she notes that she didn’t make the images, but that her fans did and she reposted them. She said she’s “very flattered” that her fans would put her in the same category as them and “hope[s] one day to live up to 1/100 of what those people accomplished.” Since posting the note, Madonna has continued posting photoshopped images of people like Princess Diana and Jean-Michel Basquiat, but none seem to have ruffled feathers quite like her original posts. For the full text of her pseudo-apology, head over to Madonna’s Facebook.