Fair or too far?
Nicki Minaj’s Director Speaks Out On Nazi Imagery
Nicki Minaj was blasted this week for her new “Only” lyric music video, which resembled cartoonish Nazi propaganda.
On Tuesday, Minaj finally tweeted an apology of sorts after both her fans and the Anti-Defamation League noted the video’s insensitive similarities to Nazi imagery, including red swastika-like flags and armbands on soldiers.
While Minaj tried to defend herself by saying “I didn’t come up w/the concept, but I’m very sorry & take full responsibility if it has offended anyone,” the music video’s director, Jeff Osborne, refuses to apologize.
“I’m not apologizing for my work, nor will I dodge the immediate question,” he wrote in a MySpace post late Tuesday. “The flags, armbands, and gas mask (and perhaps my use of symmetry?) are all representative of Nazism.”
Osborne, who also worked with Minaj on her “Anaconda” lyric video, added, “If my work is misinterpreted because it’s not a sappy tearjerker, sorry I’m not sorry.”
“Before I start, be clear that these are my personal views and not the views of Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, or Young Money.
First, I’m not apologizing for my work, nor will I dodge the immediate question. The flags, armbands, and gas mask (and perhaps my use of symmetry?) are all representative of Nazism.
But a majority of the recognizable models/symbols are American: MQ9 Reaper Drone, F22 Raptor, Sidewinder missile, security cameras, M60, SWAT uniform, General’s uniform, the Supreme court, and the Lincoln Memorial. What’s also American is the 1st Amendment, which I’ve unexpectedly succeeded in showing how we willfully squeeze ourselves out of that right every day.
Despite the fact heavy religious and economic themes were glossed over, there’s also Russian T-90 tanks, Belgian FN FAL, German mp5 (not manufactured until 1966), an Italian Ferrari, and a Vatican Pope.
As far as an explanation, I think its 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?”
And at the end of the day, somehow we doubt this guy, who completely stood up in his choice to depict Nazism and basically said “and what?” won’t face the same level of backlash from this that Nicki will…SMH.