Bob Dylan investigated in France for 'racist' comments

PARIS Mon Dec 2, 2013 6:12pm EST

Singer Bob Dylan performs during a segment honoring Director Martin Scorsese, recipient of the Music+ Film Award, at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Los Angeles January 12, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Singer Bob Dylan performs during a segment honoring Director Martin Scorsese, recipient of the Music+ Film Award, at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Los Angeles January 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

PARIS (Reuters) - The American singer Bob Dylan is being investigated in France after a Croatian community organization alleged that comments he made to Rolling Stone magazine last year amounted to incitement to racial hatred, Paris prosecutors said on Monday.

In the interview, published in the magazine's September 27, 2012 edition, the singer said racism was holding America back.

"If you got a slave master or (Ku Klux) Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that," he was quoted as saying. "That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood." ( r.reuters.com/def25v)

The formal investigation followed a legal complaint from the organization, CRICCF, which is based in France, alleging that the comments as carried in the French version of the magazine violated French racial hatred laws.

In France, racism complaints automatically trigger formal investigations, irrespective of the merits of the case.

Dylan was awarded France's prestigious Legion d'Honneur award last month in Paris. Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said that, for French people, he embodied a "subversive cultural force that can change people and the world".

CRICCF did not return an email seeking comment. Dylan's manager did not immediately respond to a phone call. Rolling Stone said it had no comment.

(Reporting By Gerard Bon and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (8)
heptone wrote:
Bought most of his LP’s in the ’60′s and early ’70′s. After that, besides his terrible singing voice,his lyrics sounded more shallow,his creativity dried up,and the monotony of his music became ever more monotonous. It is amazing to me that still to this day,50 years after he came on the scene,the myth of Robert Zimmerman (Bob’s real name) continues to survive and thrive. There is a good song from an old Randy Newman LP “Born Again”,that sums it all up for Bob – “It’s Money That I Love”.

Dec 02, 2013 5:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DVorkapic wrote:
If you forget, Croatia was ally with Germany and Italy in Second World War. They had concentration camps for Jews and Serbs. They avoided war prosecution thanks to joining Yugoslavia. Serbia was on side of France, GB and USA and heavily damaged during the war. Here is one educational video you should see, and I believe better understand what was Bob Dylan talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6BkCOtp8O0

Dec 02, 2013 5:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GSRyder wrote:
Look at the mans life through his song writing . How can any group here on earth take his words as racist ? Dylan is no racist .

Dec 02, 2013 7:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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