Exclusive: Nicki Minaj's 'Only' Director Says 'Neither I Nor the Video Are Anti-Semitic'
'As far as applying Nazi imagery, 100% me,' Jeff Osborne says in new statement.
Since the clip's premiere last week, Minaj and the director have faced criticism for the video's Nazi imagery.
While Osborne told Myspace on Tuesday that the models and symbols used in the visual "are all representative of Nazism," the director tells Billboard that neither he nor the video are anti-Semitic.
In an exclusive statement, Osborne breaks down the creative process behind the video, including Young Money's brief guidelines. Read in full below:
"The reason I'm not apologizing is because neither I nor the video are anti-semitic. I can't be sorry for something I'm being falsely accused of. The video represents Young Money as a generic totalitarian regime, which takes images and symbols from several countries and time periods, one of which is Nazism. As an artist I have two voids to fill. First, meeting the demands of the client and two, creatively applying my own voice where I can. The Young Money team came to me with a set of parameters in which they exactly stated -- something black and white, dark, ominous, with hints of imagery like Sin City or Metalocalypse.
As far as applying Nazi imagery, 100% me. Whether it was interpreted that way to their team, I have no idea. Not once did we ever sit in the same room, nor did they ask if I applied a deeper hidden meaning. I simply send them the video and they reject, approve, or ask for changes.
I made this creative decision to show the juxtaposition of the most iconic form of totalitarianism and ways it still exists today, specifically in politics, the military-industrial complex, censorship, and intense monitoring and tracking of our citizens. It has nothing to do with glorifying Hitler or the Holocaust. People think it's trivializing the Holocaust because the song talks about sex, but I have no control over the lyrical content. I had an opportunity and an outlet, which I knew would reach millions of people, and wanted to make a statement. The term New World Order isn't just an edgy pop culture reference. It is very real and was a term used by president George H.W. Bush, ironically 10 years to the day before 9/11.
We have a government that tracks us, monitors us, has programs dedicated to controlling our minds and testing diseases on us, and no one asks any questions. People aren't privy to things like MK Ultra, the School of the Americas, the fact that the Bush family owned Securacom, which was in charge of security for the World Trade Center, Dulles Airport, and United Airlines. The fact that in every recent war, the opposition leader has worked for the CIA. I'm not saying I know all the facts, but do people really think there isn't more to the story? Look up from your smartphone and smell the fuckin' roses, I'm trying to help you! People vilify artists for using this type of imagery in their work as if they're part of the 1% club. Believe me, any artist who has brain cells know they're not in the club. In my opinion it's not glorification, it's a subliminal warning because you can't openly say these kinds of things. Me? I don't give a shit. I have no corporate interests, PR team, or image to maintain.
My comment about the First Amendment was in regard to people demanding the video be removed, not their interpretation of the video, which I welcome openly, whether positive or negative, because that's the point of art."