Madonna decided to enlist civil rights icons Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela to help her sell her new album, REBEL HEART. Many who don’t think it’s yet another clever move for the pop star are outraged. (Madonna, of course, traffics in outrage. Or used to.) Her new album, REBEL HEART, paints Madonna as a rebel and encourages her fans to unleash the same spirit in themselves. Lots of them responded by stealing the album, but that’s another story.
The cover art for REBEL HEART shows Madonna’s face strung up with black cord. Subsequent shout-outs to other “rebels” like Frida Kahlo and Homer Simpson featured those people/characters similarly strung up with cord. Nobody much cared. But when Madonna defiled the faces of civil rights icons MLK and Nelson Mandela with her black cord, people on social media said WTF?!! (“Is this some kind of joke?” wrote one pastor.) Madonna kind of apologized for her audacity on Facebook, saying she didn’t mean to compare herself to these people. And besides, she didn’t even do it–her fans did it, if you must know. She just reposted the pix (which look very professional). Who is Madonna, anyway, to tell her fans what to think or do? You don’t mess with rebel hearts.
— Madonna (@Madonna) January 2, 2015