In this age of instant communication via social media, it’s hard to believe someone as in tune to all that as Nicki Minaj would have waited several days to apologize for the Nazi imagery in her lyric video for the song “Only.”
As was first reported over the weekend, Minaj’s video uses several symbols that recall those used back in the Nazi era in Germany in the 1930s and ’40s. One had the singer’s cartoon likeness standing very Hitler-like in front of a phalanx of soldiers who look way too much like SS officers.
Observers familiar with the kinds of propaganda films created by Leni Riefenstahl during the Nazi era were upset by the Minaj video’s images, which included gas masks and an interlocking Y-M symbol (for the record label Young Money) that looked too similar to the hated swastika.
On Monday, Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham H. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, called the video “deeply disturbing” for evoking “Third Reich propaganda” and “unadulterated Nazi imagery.” He also found it “troubling” that no one in her camp spoke up before the video’s release.
After the huge firestorm on social media, Minaj has tweeted out an apology saying she is “sorry,” but then claimed the artistic team behind the video was influenced by “Sin City” and a Cartoon Network show called “Metalocalypse.”
Minaj did take full responsibility and expressed regret she offended so many people. “I’d never condone Nazism in my art,” she tweeted.