Anti-Defamation League Condemns Nick Minaj’s Nazi-Inspired “Only” Video

Nicki Minaj’s new lyric video for “Only,” her new Drake/Lil Wayne/Chris Brown collab, is a cartoon that flirts with Nazi imagery. It depicts Nicki as the leader of a Triumph Of The Will-looking militarized dictatorship, with her logo on the banners instead of swastikas. This was a pretty weird decision on someone’s part! Unsurprisingly, the Anti-Defamation League has a problem with it.

Fox News quotes Abraham H. Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director and Holocaust survivor, as saying, “Nicki Minaj’s new video disturbingly evokes Third Reich propaganda and constitutes a new low for pop culture’s exploitation of Nazi symbolism. The irony should be lost on no one that this video debuted on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the ‘night of broken glass’ pogrom that signaled the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust… This video it is insensitive to Holocaust survivors and a trivialization of the history of that era. This imagery is deeply disturbing and offensive to Jews and all those who recall the sacrifices Americans and many others had to pay as a result of the Nazi juggernaut.”

It seems unlikely that Nicki and her co-stars had anything to do with the concept for the lyric video. But maybe someone should’ve thought twice before signing off on this thing?

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UPDATE: On Twitter, Nicki Minaj has apologized for using Nazi imagery in the lyric video, and she’s provided some context:

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UPDATE 2: Jeff Osborne, the artist who directed the “Only” lyric video, issued a statement via MySpace:

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?

Osborne previously worked with Minaj on her “Anaconda” lyric video.