Nicki Minaj Apologizes for Nazi-Themed Video
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Nicki Minaj Apologizes for Nazi-Themed Video

The rap superstar takes 'full responsibility' on Twitter.

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

Rap superstar Nicki Minaj apologized today to her fans and took full responsibility for her music video containing Nazi imagery released last week.

Minaj took to her Twitter account today with a series of apologetic tweets to all those offended and indicating that “I’d never condone Nazism in my art.”

"The artist who made the lyric video for 'Only' was influenced by a cartoon on Cartoon Network called 'Metalocalypse' & Sin City," she tweeted.

“We are pleased that Nicki Minaj has taken full responsibility for the video and recognized that it was indeed offensive,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. “Her clear renunciation of Nazism is an important step. We hope that she will take further steps to educate herself and her fans about who the Nazis were and why we should never take genocide or the Holocaust lightly.”

The video was debuted on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” pogrom that signaled the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust.

In the video, Minaj is seated on a throne at the head of large room with rows of soldiers at her feet. Large red flags and banners are prominent throughout the video. The flags have white circles with the letters “YM,” which stands for Young Money — Minaj’s production studio name—printed inside the circle, resembling swastikas. The rows of cartoon soldiers are even sporting red bands with the YM logo, much like the SS officers of the Third Reich.

Other wartime images are also recurring throughout the video, including explosive rockets, tanks and even gasmasks.

Minaj’s cartoon likeness is depicted in the singer’s usual skin-tight garb, but her musical counterparts are illustrated in more significant dress. Cartoon Chris Brown is a decorated military general and Lil’ Wayne wears a tailored suit. Drake, himself Jewish, is depicted as a priest, complete with a tab collar and set against a church backdrop.

"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 previous statement.

editor@jewishweek.org

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