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Nicki Minaj Video Criticized by Anti-Defamation League for Nazi Imagery

The video dropped on the 76th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, which marked the start of the Holocaust

The Anti-Defamation League just released a statement lambasting Nicki Minaj’s “Only” lyric video over its alleged use of Nazi imagery. Though there are no explicit swaztikas in the video, the ADL thinks its influences are clear. Minaj stands in front of a structure that looks very much like the Brandenburg Gate, gazing over a legion of black-coated soldiers sporting red armbands. Making matters even worse was the unfortunate coincidence that the video dropped on the 76th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, or “night of broken glass,” which marked the beginning of the Holocaust. Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL’s National Director and a Holocaust survivor, penned the League’s passionate response:

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.

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.

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.

As Foxman notes, it really is surprising that nobody, at any point in the making of the video, stopped to say that maybe, just maybe, invoking Nazi imagery and painting Minaj as a sexy Hitler-type might end up being controversial. Minaj herself has yet to comment.