What do Madonna, Nelson Mandela, Bob Marley and Martin Luther King, Jr. have in common? According to Madonna, they’re all keen on promoting her new album. The singer’s Rebel Heart album is coming out and she’s revealed the cover art, a shot of the singer with wire wrapped around her face. Madge had previously regrammed fan art featuring Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga in similar wrapped-up shots. But, today was a little different, and left more than a few people wondering what the heck Madonna is thinking.
Today, she posted images of Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley with wire Photoshopped onto their faces, adding a quip on why each was a #RebelHeart. (These were not fan art, to be clear.) Because fighting for justice and equality of oppressed people is right on par with promoting your album.
The Instagram snaps were greeted with plenty of outraged comments by posters who found the images disrespectful to the memories of these great men.
“Madonna’s rebellion is that is [sic] a teenager: rebellion for rebellion’s sake. Mandela’s rebellion had a true and honorable purpose,” @noboundfeet commented via Instagram. “This is poorly judged by anyone’s estimation,” @vickynunes added. Others took to Twitter to express their outrage.
— Megan Schubert (@theleastunsmile) January 2, 2015
— Josh Lee (@J_Manasa) January 2, 2015
@JustSomePoetic It’s childish. She knows exactly what she’s doing, pissing everybody off.
— Boppie Boo. (@MichaelJoeJxn) January 2, 2015
@Madonna is there something you’d like to talk about? something you’d like me to explain bc you seem to be a bit clueless
— Rokashi Edwards (@Rokashi) January 2, 2015
In spite of the backlash, the images are still up on her social media pages, so the outrage doesn’t seem to be much of a concern to Madonna and her PR and social teams — at least for now. This is obviously a misguided attempt to garner publicity for her latest effort, but if there’s anything Madonna is good at, it’s provoking a reaction from people. This time, however, was in poor taste.