Erykah Badu is under criticism for her comments about Bill Cosby and Adolf Hitler.
In a wide-ranging interview with Vulture, the singer says she “saw something good in Hitler” and wonders why she should be angry with Cosby, who has been accused by multiple women of drugging and sexually assaulting them.
When asked by writer David Marchese about separating art from the artist, with Louis C.K. and Bill Cosby used as examples, Badu opined, “I don’t want to get scared into not thinking for myself. I weigh everything. 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.”
Calling herself an “empath” and “humanist,” Badu went on to say, “I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.” Upon being asked to elaborate, she responded, “I did. Hitler was a wonderful painter.” Marchese pushed Badu on the statement, causing her to relent that “[Hitler] was a terrible painter.”
“Poor thing,” she continued. “He had a terrible childhood. That means that when I’m looking at my daughter, Mars, 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.”
The singer clapped back to the groundswell on Twitter, writing, “People are in real pain. So I understand why my ‘good’ intent was misconstrued as ‘bad’. In trying to express a point, I used 1 of the worst examples possible, Not to support the cruel actions of an unwell, psychopathic Adolf Hitler, but to only exaggerate a show of compassion. Either U read the entire VULTURE interview & U understood the message of compassion CLEARLY. OR U only read the selective, out of context Headlines, & were drawn in2 the whirlpool of collective emotional grief. I don’t want 2 force U 2understand the way I love. I’m hopeful tho.”
Read Badu’s full interview with Vulture here.