‘My Life Has Been Enriched By Countless Jews,’ Declares Rocker John Mellencamp in Fierce Denunciation of Antisemitism
US rock star John Mellencamp on stage in Florida. Photo: Reuters/Greg Swiercz
US rock star John Mellencamp issued a fierce denunciation of antisemitism from the stage at an event in Los Angeles honoring a prominent Jewish entertainment lawyer.
The composer of “Jack & Diane,” “Ain’t Even Done With the Night” and other hits was speaking at a ceremony on Sunday inducting lawyer Allen Grubman — who has represented Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey and other top artists — into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
As Grubman prepared to walk onto the stage to accept the honor, Mellencamp told the audience: “Allen is Jewish, and I bring that up for one reason: I’m a gentile, and my life has been enriched by countless Jewish people.”
Mellencamp then went on to condemn antisemitism in no uncertain terms, indirectly referencing the recent controversy involving hip hop star Kanye West’s antisemitic outbursts.
“I cannot tell you how f–king important it is to speak out if you’re an artist against antisemitism,” he stated. “I don’t give a f–k, I don’t care [what you are]. Here’s the trick: Silence is complicity. I’m standing here tonight loudly and proudly with Allen, his family and all of my Jewish friends and all of the Jewish people of the world.”
In a barb seemingly directed at West, Mellencamp declared: “F–k antisemitism, and f–k anybody who says anything in that manner.”
West’s comments have been criticized by other star musicians, including Australian rocker Nick Cave, who labeled the rapper “disgraceful” despite being “the greatest artist of our time.”
As well as Grubman, Sunday’s ceremony saw a slew of other artists inducted into the Hall of Fame, among them Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Duran Duran.