ADL OUTRAGED THAT MICHAEL JACKSON HAS REINSTATED ANTI-SEMITIC
LYRICS INTO VIDEO VERSION OF "THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT US"
Palm Beach, FL, February 9, 1996...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed
outrage that Michael Jackson has reinstated anti-Semitic lyrics into his
song "They Don't Care About Us" for its video release. Mr. Jackson
had assured ADL last June that he would re-record the song to eliminate
the offensive lyrics.
"We were outraged to see Michael Jackson perform the song with the
anti-Semitic lyrics on a nationally syndicated television show," said
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We had taken Mr. Jackson
at his word that the anti-Semitic lyrics were deleted from the song."
After ADL protested the lyrics, "Jew me, Sue me" and "Kick
me, Kike me," in the song which was released as part of the album HIStory,
Mr. Jackson wrote to Mr. Foxman on June 22 saying, "...I have chosen
to re-record it ["They Don't Care About Me"], deleting the words
found offensive." In the letter to ADL, Mr. Jackson said, "I
acknowledge that I seriously offended some people which was never my intention
and for that I am deeply sorry... I have come to understand over the past
days that these words are considered anti-Semitic...I sincerely hope that
anyone offended by my words will forgive me for not recognizing this sooner."
"We accepted your apology, and we assumed that the video would conform
with our understanding. Apparently we were wrong...," Mr. Foxman wrote
to Mr. Jackson on February 6.
"Anti-Semitism and racism have no more place in the entertainment business
than they do in the rest of society," Mr. Foxman added. "...with
the release of such a video, instead of remaining a spokesman against hate
and prejudice, you have made a decision which reinforces intolerance."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.