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01/04/2015 09:28 am ET Updated Jan 05, 2015

Madonna Says Controversial 'Rebel Heart' Photos Are Not 'An Insult Or Racist'

Kevin Mazur/Child2014 via Getty Images

Madonna is on the defensive after critics slammed the singer for tweeting photoshopped images of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. to promote her upcoming album, "Rebel Heart."

In a Facebook post shared on Saturday, the 56-year-old apologized before explaining her decision to share the photos. She wrote that her fans were the creators of the images, but added that neither she nor her fans are racist:



The controversial photos of Mandela and King, which were posted on Madonna's Twitter account on Friday, feature the men with black rope bound to their faces, a la Madonna's "Rebel Heart" cover art.

For comparision, here is Madonna's "Rebel Heart" cover art:

Here are the altered photos of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.:

Madonna also tweeted similar photos of Princess Diana and Bob Marley in the style of the "Rebel Heart" album cover:

In December, Madonna tweeted various photos of people wrapped in black cords, including fans and celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Monroe, Skrillex and Diplo. She also shared an altered photo of a statue of Jesus Christ with the "Rebel Heart" ropes wrapped around it.

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