Bob Dylan has always been a spokesperson for diversity, but that message seems to have gotten lost in France.
The legendary musician recently has been hit with preliminary charges by French authorities, despite having received the country’s prestigious Legion d’Honneur last month in Paris. The charges of “public insult and inciting hate”, filed in mid-November stemmed from a lawsuit by a Croatian community group in France over remarks made in a Rolling Stone interview in September 2012. The singer spoke about race relations, where somewhere in the interview, he was allegedly quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis.
A lawyer for the Croatian group stated that the community was upset about the remarks, and while the charges are not seeking monetary damages, wants Dylan to present an apology to the Croatian people. Though the charges were filed in mid-November, they were not made public until this week.
Meanwhile in other music news, as next year’s Essence Festival goes under way, it has been announced that the headliner will be Prince. And it happens to not be the first time he performed at the festival, which celebrates black music and culture. He performed there back in 2004, and he also headlined this year’s South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
The Essence Festival in 2014 will be held July 3-6 in New Orleans. The rest of the lineup is expected to be announced later.