Erykah Badu Sparks Controversy On Twitter Following Comments About Bill Cosby & Hitler

Music News

Erykah has found herself in the hot seat this week (Jan. 24), after she made some comments in a new interview with Vulture, which many people are deeming anti-Semitic and insensitive. In the new conversation with reporter, David Marchese, the singer suggested that she sees the “good” in Hitler and Bill Cosby, and the Internet is not having it.

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When Marchese asked Badu about whether you can separate a problematic artist’s personal life from their art, the singer admitted she doesn’t have the most popular opinion. “That I don’t want to get scared into not thinking for myself. I weigh everything,” she stated. “Even what you just asked me, I would have to really think about it and know the facts in each of those situations before I made a judgment. Because I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he’s done for the world. But if he’s sick, why would I be angry with him? The people who got hurt, I feel so bad for them. I want them to feel better, too. But sick people do evil things; hurt people hurt people. I know I could be crucified for saying that, because I’m supposed to be on the purple team or the green team. I’m not trying to rebel against what everybody’s saying, but maybe I want to measure it.”

READ: Interview: Erykah Badu On Maintaining The Integrity Of R&B With The Soul Train Music Awards

Marchese then pressed Badu about her past comments about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and saying good things about bad people. “If you say something good about someone, people think it means that you’ve chosen a side. But I don’t choose sides. I see all sides simultaneously,” she explained. “I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.” When asked what she meant, Badu explained that Hitler was a “wonderful painter.”

At this point, Marchese was noticeably disturbed. Even so, the two continued to engage in dialogue.

No, he wasn’t! And even if he was, what would his skill as a painter have to do with any “good” in him? Okay, he was a terrible painter. Poor thing. He had a terrible childhood. That means that when I’m looking at my daughter, I could imagine her being in someone else’s home and being treated so poorly, and what that could spawn. I see things like that. I guess it’s just the Pisces in me.

I’m perfectly willing to accept that you might be operating on a higher moral plane than I am, but I think going down the route of “Hitler was a child once too” is maybe turning the idea of empathy into an empty abstraction. 
Maybe so. It doesn’t test my limits—I can see this clearly. I don’t care if the whole group says something, I’m going to be honest. I know I don’t have the most popular opinion sometimes.

Since the interview was published, Twitter has erupted with many fans blasting Badu for seemingly supporting problematic and historically evil leaders. As we all know, Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party and notoriously facilitated one of the deadliest events in history. Cosby has also been accused of raping and sexually assaulting more than a dozen women throughout his career.

Read the entire interview here. And see what the Internet has to say below.