The controversial singer Xavier Naidoo causes a stir with a video in which he apologizes for “many mistakes” and in particular “disturbing statements” in the past. He became aware of “how important it is to reflect on yourself,” he says in the clip that he published on his YouTube channel on Tuesday evening. “I’ve recognized the wrong paths I’ve sometimes found myself on and that I’ve made many mistakes in recent years.”
In the video, which is just over three minutes long and entitled “#One Love”, Naidoo says at the beginning that the events of the past few weeks have “dismayed and shaken him up”. He explicitly mentions “the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine” and explains that he experienced the “unbelievable suffering” through the family of his wife, who is of Ukrainian descent.
Sitting on a couch, Naidoo then explains that the latest developments have caused him to “question critically”. In conversations with friends and family members, he “also had to ask critical questions about statements I made in the past”.
In recent years, the ex-frontman of the band Söhne Mannheims has caused a stir with racist and anti-Jewish statements rather than with his music. At the end of last year, the Federal Constitutional Court even decided that Naidoo could be called an anti-Semite. He also actively sought proximity to so-called Reich citizens on several occasions.
With the beginning of the corona pandemic, the 50-year-old repeatedly propagated numerous conspiracy myths and thus became one of the best-known representatives of the so-called lateral thinkers alongside the vegan cookbook author and neo-Nazi Attila Hildmann.
“I let myself be instrumentalised in part”
Now Naidoo is surprisingly refined in the video. He “ultimately got lost”. Then he adds that he sometimes acted in a way that was determined by others: “I was blinded by conspiracy stories and didn’t question them enough, I let myself be exploited to some extent.”
He opened “theories, perspectives and sometimes also groups, from which I distance myself without ifs and buts and break away,” says Naidoo. He became aware “that I irritated and provoked my family, my friends, my fans, people who defended me, but also many other people with disturbing statements”. Therefore he asks for forgiveness.
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Without clearly naming the groups in question or explicitly revising previous statements, Naidoo ends the video with a repeated underpinning of his leitmotif. It is important for him to say “that I distance myself from all extremes – in particular and above all from right-wing and conspiratorial groups”.
He stands for tolerance, diversity and peaceful coexistence. “Nationalism, racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism are not compatible with my values,” says Naidoo.
Since it was published on Tuesday evening, the video had almost 44,000 views on YouTube alone by Wednesday morning. The comment function is only activated on Facebook, where the video has so far generated more than 11,000 reactions and 3800 comments.