For reasons that are not immediately clear, Madonna posted photos of two of her adopted children posing while the photographer held up a piece of watermelon.
The photos appeared on Madonna’s Instagram Story and it is unclear if she is the one who took them. The association between African Americans and watermelon has been used as a racist stereotype for years, and harkens back to the days of slavery.
Fans had mixed reactions to the photos. While some called her out on it, others found the backlash to be unwarranted.
One Twitter user responded by saying, “madonna is a wholea– fool but I doubt that she did this on purpose, it’s a cute photo with fruit, blk ppl can get in on the trend too…or should we avoid doing anything with watermelon and fried chicken bc of stupid stereotypes? let kids have fun.”
Madonna has adopted four children from the African country of Malawi: David Banda in 2006, Mercy James in 2009, and twins Esther and Stella Mwale in 2017.
The topic of white people adopting black children was the subject of a recent episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk” entitled, “Should White People Adopt Black Kids.”
During an interview with Kristin Davis, who has adopted two black children, the “Sex and the City” star said she has taken on a new view of racism as a result of having her children.
“It’s one thing to be watching [racism] happening to other people and it’s another thing when it’s your child,” Davis said. “And you haven’t personally been through it. It’s a big issue.”
Davis recalled an instance where she was left “horrified” after people remarked that her daughter would become “a great basketball player” one day.
Madonna is no stranger to racial controversy.
In 2014, she apologized after to using the N-word in a post about her then-13-year-old son Rocco in which she captioned a photo, “No one messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out! #disn—a.”
She issued a statement at the time saying, “I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N-word on Instagram. It was not meant as a racial slur…I am not a racist.”
Madonna added, “There’s no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention…It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it’s a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression. Forgive me.”