UPDATE (11/11/20 at 12:00 P.M.): Footwear News has retracted the initial cover for this publication. A new cover is being worked on as of press time, according to the publication.
Cardi B took to social media to apologize to anyone whose culture and religion she offended with her new Footwear News November cover. The Grammy-winner, 28, covers HollywoodLife‘s sister publication and pays homage to Durga, the Hindu goddess, whose symbols represent protection and strength. While the magazine stated (in a since deleted Instagram post) that Durga’s symbols “resonate as much in modern times as they have through the centuries,” and that “like Durga, Cardi B is a dominant female voice at a critical time,” the internet took issue with the rapper’s photo emulating the symbolic Goddess.
— foreverBTS (@forever77709676) November 11, 2020
After her fans notified her of the backlash — in which critics labeled her as “insensitive” and “disrespectful” — Cardi took to her Instagram Stories to share a detailed apology in a series of clips. “A lot of my fans are telling I’m getting dragged throughout social media… because of my Reebok shoot and saying that I disrespected a Goddess,” she began, explaining that “when I did the Reebok shoot, the creative were telling me, ‘You’re going to represent a Goddess, that she represents strength, femininity and liberation, and that’s something that I love and that I’m all about,” she said.
Cardi continued, “And though it was dope, if people think I’m offending their culture or their religion I want to say I’m sorry, that was not my intent. I do not like disrespecting nobody’s religion. I wouldn’t like people to offend my religion,” she said.
“When people dress as Virgin Mary and Jesus, as long as they do it in a beautiful, graceful way and a respectful way, I don’t feel a certain type of way But I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, maybe I should have done my research,” Cardi admitted, adding, “I’m sorry, I can’t change the past but I going to do more research for the future.”
The Footwear News cover shows Cardi emulating the Hindu Goddess, Durga (a warrior woman with eight arms and hands, while holding a bright red pair of sneakers from her Reebok collaboration. In the original image, Durga is posing with a sword and other weapons in her hands.