Charges of incitement to hatred against Bob Dylan dropped

Comments made in a French interview in 2013

Bob Dylan will not face charges of incitement to hatred in France following comments he made about Croatians in a 2013 interview.

The charges were initially brought forward by French judges and related to an interview Dylan gave in the French version of Rolling Stone magazine. In the article, he mentioned Croatia in the same sentence as the Nazi party and the Ku Klux Klan.

However, as reported by Wall Street Journal, Dylan is no longer the focus of the charges with French law officials turning instead to the publication for publishing the remarks. Rolling Stone’s France publisher Michael Birnbaum still faces anti-discrimination charges and could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of €45,000 (£37,000).

Dylan’s quotes came in response to a question about whether he sees parallels between Civil War-era America and the US of today. “This country is just too fucked up about colour. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different colour. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back – or any neighbourhood back. Or any anything back. 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.”