Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bob Dylan has been charged with “public insult and inciting hate” in France for comments he made in 2012 comparing Croats to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, reports the AP.
Speaking with Rolling Stone about civil rights, Dylan had said:
Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery -- that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.
The final comment upset France's Council of Croats, who filed a lawsuit in mid-November, requesting that Dylan "present an apology to the Croatian people.” French authorities have agreed to hear the case, and the singer has reportedly been asked to appear during the hearing.
“It is an incitement to hatred. You cannot compare Croatian criminals to all Croats,” said Council of Croats secretary general Vlatko Maric in a statement. Although several Croatian radio stations have responded by removing his music from their rotation, Maric continued, “But we have nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer."
The charges, though not made public until this week, were filed just two days before Dylan received a French government honor at the Culture Ministry Nov. 13.