Bob Dylan Charged With ‘Incitement to Hatred’ in France

The legendary singer, Bob Dylan, is being charged over remarks he made in the French version of Rolling Stone magazine about Croatian people, reports Agence France-Presse.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. It All Comes From a Rolling Stone Interview

In 2012, Dylan told Rolling Stone in a discussion about slavery in America:

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.

The Representatives from the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) made an official complaint to French authorities about the remarks and are seeking an apology. The group’s secretary general Vlatko Maric, had said the courts in Paris had agreed to hear the group’s grievance.

2. He’s Also Being Sued For His Remarks

In response to the remarks, Dylan is being sued by the CRICCF, who took great offense to his remarks. Croatia and Serbia fought a bloody war between 1991-95. During World War II, the Croatians largely backed the Nazis as the Serbs were persecuted.

3. French Society is Very Sensitive Regarding Hate Speech

Free speech laws in Europe are more strictly regulated, especially in cases of perceived racism or sectarianism.

4. Less Than a Month Ago, Dylan Was the Toast of France

Bob Dylan Charged France Incitement to Hatred Bob Dylan Arrested France


On November 14 2013, Dylan received the French Legion of Honor in Paris, the highest cultural award in the country.

5. To Many Dylan, is the Ultimate Civil Rights Icon

Bob Dylan Charged France Incitement to Hatred Bob Dylan Arrested France


The controversy of this arrest, is in sharp contrast to Dylan’s unwavering support for equal rights throughout his career.