Director of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Only’ Video Refuses to Apologize for Nazi Imagery
"If my work is misinterpreted because it's not a sappy tearjerker, sorry I'm not sorry"
Nicki Minaj took some well-deserved flak for her recent “Only” lyric video due to its alleged use of Nazi imagery. To her credit, Minaj issued a convincing and sincere-seeming apology on Twitter earlier today, explaining that although the Nazi connection was uninentional, she took “full responsibility if it has offended anyone,” adding that she’d “never condone Nazism in my art.”
However, the video’s director Jeff Osborne was thoroughly unrepentant in a conversation with MySpace, boldly stating that the imagery really was “all representative of Nazism.” We’ll let Osborne throw himself under the bus in his own words:
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?
If Osborne’s words are to be understood, the director apparently wants people to commemorate the horrific events of Holocaust by watching a music video in which Nicki Minaj boasts about who she has or hasn’t slept with. Osborne also seems to lack any sort of understanding of what the First Amendment actually means — yes, he’s free to make this stupid video, but the rest of the country is also free to give him crap for making such a stupid video. That’s the American way, after all.