Anti-Semitism (illustration)
Anti-Semitism (illustration) Israel News photo: Flash 90

Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj apologized Tuesday and denied any Nazi sympathies after she came under criticism for imagery that resembled the Third Reich in a video, AFP reports. 

In the video for new song "Only," Minaj is portrayed as a powerful totalitarian dictator with a massive army - like Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Third Reich - with all actors bearing red, white, and black armbands with the "YM" logo of her record label "Young Money" instead of swastikas. 

The video immediately caused controversy, with fans taking to Facebook and Twitter to demand Minaj take it down or apologize. Minaj has, until now, remained silent. 

But the rapper finally responded to the controversy Tuesday night, claiming that the inspiration for the video was in fact the cartoon
series "Metalocalypse" and that both the producer and a person overseeing the video, whom she described as a close friend, were Jewish.

"I didn't come up (with) the concept, but I'm very sorry (and) take full responsibility if it has offended anyone. I'd never condone Nazism in my art," she wrote.

The Anti-Defamation League, which combats anti-Semitism, earlier called the video "deeply disturbing."

"This video is insensitive to Holocaust survivors and a trivialization of the history of that era," said the group's national director Abraham Foxman.

Foxman issued a new statement to welcome Minaj's apology.

"We hope that she will take further steps to educate herself and her fans about who the Nazis were and why we should never take genocide or the Holocaust lightly," he said.