Minaj sorry about Nazi images

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Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj apologised on Tuesday and denied any Nazi sympathies after she came under fire for imagery resembling the Third Reich in a music video.

The video for Only is a retro-styled animation awash in military imagery, with the bold graphic style of vintage German propaganda posters and a symbol based on her record label's initials (YM) that look suspiciously similar to a swastika.

Many viewers were horrified.

The Anti-Defamation League, which combats anti-Semitism, also released a statement.

"The Anti-Defamation League was deeply disturbed by the unadulterated Nazi imagery in the new Nicki Minaj music video, Only," the organisation said in a release. "The video evokes the style of Nazi propaganda films and portrays Minaj as a military dictator surrounded by red banners resembling those used by the Nazi Party during World War II. Ranks of solders are shown with red armbands mirroring those worn by Nazi soldiers."

The group's national director Abraham Foxman noted the irony that the video was released on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht ("the night of broken glass") that signalled the beginning of the Holocaust.

"Nicki Minaj's new video disturbingly evokes Third Reich propaganda and constitutes a new low for pop culture's exploitation of Nazi symbolism," he said. "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."

The song also features Minaj's fellow stars, Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown.

Minaj, who hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sunday, responded that the inspiration for the video was in fact the cartoon series Metalocalypse. She wrote on Twitter that both the producer and a person overseeing the video, whom she described as a close friend, were Jewish.

"I didn't come up w/the concept, but I'm very sorry & take full responsibility if it has offended anyone. I'd never condone Nazism in my art," she wrote.

Foxman issued a new statement to welcome Minaj's apology.

"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," he said.

Minaj is not the first celebrity to have made a Nazi blunder.

In 2005, Prince Harry went to a costume party dressed as a German soldier, complete with a Nazi armband. In 2011, director Lars von Trier was expelled from the Cannes film festival for jokingly calling himself a Nazi and Hitler sympathiser.

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