Nicki Minaj addressed the controversy around the new lyric video for her single “Only” on Tuesday after the Anti-Defamation League condemned the project for its use of Nazi Imagery.
However, soon after, the video’s director Jeffrey Osborne released a statement that said he refused to apologize for his use of Nazi symbolism.
Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League called the music video “a new low for pop culture’s exploitation of Nazi symbolism.” Osborne took to Myspace on Tuesday to give his take on the matter.
“First, I’m not apologizing for my work, nor will I dodge the immediate question,” said the director.
“The flags, armbands, and gas mask (and perhaps my use of symmetry?) are all representative of Nazis.” Osborne indicated that his views on the subject are in no way indicative of Minaj or the other artists featured on the song, who include Drake, Chris Brown, and Lil’ Wayne.
“As far as an explanation,” continued Osborne, “I think it’s actually important to remind younger generations of atrocities that occurred in the past as a way to prevent them from happening in the future.
And the most effective way of connecting with people today is through social media and pop culture.
So if my work is misinterpreted because it’s not a sappy tearjerker, sorry I’m not sorry.
What else is trending?” The director also cited freedom of speech as a reason why his art should not be censored.
“What’s also American is the First Amendment, which I’ve unexpectedly succeeded in showing how we willfully squeeze ourselves out of that right every day,” said Osborne.
Earlier in the day, Minaj took to Twitter to address the issue and offer an apology to those offended by the music video.
“The artist who made the video for ‘Only’ was influenced by a cartoon on Cartoon Network called Metalocalypse and [the non-Cartoon Network-affiliated movie and graphic novel] Sin City ,” she wrote.
“Both the producer and person in charge of overseeing the lyric video (one of my best friends and videographer: A.
Loucas), happen to be Jewish.
I didn’t come up with the concept, but I’m very sorry and take full responsibility if it has offended anyone.
I’d never condone Nazism in my art.” The Anti-Defamation League pointed out the fact that no one on Minaj’s team considered the Nazy imagery too offensive.
“It is troubling that no one among Minaj’s group of producers, publicists and managers raised a red flag about the use of such imagery before ushering the video into public release,” wrote Foxman in a statement .
“This video is insensitive to Holocaust survivors and a trivialization of the history of that era.
The abuse of Nazi imagery is deeply disturbing and offensive to Jews and all those who can recall the sacrifices Americans and many others had to make as a result of Hitler’s Nazi juggernaut.”