CARDI B has apologized for posing in a Hindu-inspired photoshoot after being accused of "disgusting" cultural appropriation.
The WAP singer, 28, is seen with eight arms and posing in the typical position of the Hindu goddess Durga on the latest cover of Footwear News.
Cardi took part in the shoot to promote her new footwear collaboration with Reebok.
Critics felt it was "absurd" and "offensive" that she was referencing Durga, who is known for strength, protection and war, and is typically depicted as having eight or 10 arms, on the magazine cover.
Following mounting backlash, the mom-of-one apologized in her Instagram Stories and admitted that while she thought the shoot was "dope", she should have "done her research" and didn't mean to cause offence.
“So a lot of my fans are telling me that I’m getting dragged by social media," Cardi began.
The singer, who is Catholic, went on: “They saying it’s because of my Reebok shoot and saying that I disrespected like a goddess or something.
"When I did the Reebok shoot the creative told me I’d be a goddess that represents strength, femininity and liberation, and that is something I love, that I’m all about and I thought it was dope.
“If people think I offended their culture or religion I want to say I’m sorry – that was not my intent. I do not like disrespecting people’s religion, I would not like if anyone disrespected my religion, with people dressed as the Virgin Mary or Jesus, as long as they do it in a beautiful and graceful way I don’t feel a certain type of way."
She concluded: “I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, maybe I should have done my research.”
The rapper – who recently reunited with husband, Offset – added in the caption: “Sorry guys I didn’t mean to offend or disrespect anybody’s culture.
"I can’t change the passed [sic] but I’ll be more cautious for the future.”
Among the critics to Cardi's shoots was a Twitter user, who accused the rapper of "using" their religion to promote her footwear line.
"Cardi B using my religion as a way to promote something and trying to cover it up as a ‘homage’ is disgusting. What she is doing is cultural appropriation and there is no one that can tell me otherwise," they wrote.
Another added: “Excuse me ma'am this is not homage. It's disrespectful. She is holding a f***ing shoe and we don't even wear one when we go to a temple.
"And the fact that she is being compared to Durga without even knowing how disrespectful it is to Hindus makes it even worse. Educate yourself. "
Others jumped to Cardi's defence, however, with one fan writing: 'As an Indian and a Hindu I am not offended by the post. There is nothing wrong with it.'
Another agreed: "I see where you're coming from but you gotta understand though, this is for a magazine cover about advertising her show and 9 times out of 10 it's not up to the artist on what the magazine wants to do with your cover. If they have an idea they're gonna use it regardless."
Footwear News said in a statement that they take “full accountability” over the photoshoot.
"Yesterday we posted content from our exclusive Cardi B cover shoot. One of the images was intended to pay homage to Hindu goddess Durga, and our intent was to show a powerful woman,” a spokesperson said.
"However, we realize we were not considerate of certain cultural and religious perspectives and how this could be perceived as deeply offensive.
“We take full accountability for this oversight and we apologize. It is important we learn from this example and are sensitive to this sort of religious imagery when creative discussions are taking place in the future.”
The controversy comes after Cardi was slammed for her personal life decisions, as she reunited with her rapper husband Offset.
She filed to dismiss her divorce from the Migos member – admitting that they reconciled because she’s “crazy” and "wanted d**k.”
She initially filed for divorce in September after rumors spread that Offset had cheated on her multiple times and that he was even expecting a baby with another woman.
Cardi and Offset married in September 2017 and share two-year-old daughter Kulture.
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