WARNING: This story contains graphic language.
The R&B songstress said in the wide-ranging interview with Vulture that, “I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.” Badu called him a “wonderful painter” and said he had a “terrible childhood” when asked to elaborate.
Badu didn’t say she supports Hitler, but that she’s “an observer who can see good things and bad things.”
“If you say something good about someone, people think it means that you’ve chosen a side. But I don’t choose sides,” she added. “I see all sides simultaneously.”
On Cosby, Badu said, “but if he’s sick, why would I be angry with him?” She said, “sick people do evil things; hurt people hurt people.” Cosby has been accused by multiple women of drugging and sexually assaulting them.
She also said, “I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he’s done for the world.”
“I know I could be crucified for saying that, because I’m supposed to be on the purple team or the green team,” she explained. “I’m not trying to rebel against what everybody’s saying, but maybe I want to measure it.”
When asked about separating art from the artist with examples such as Louis C.K. and others, Badu said, “I don’t want to get scared into not thinking for myself. I weigh everything.”
Badu also said she believes it looks like some of the bad in U.S. President Donald Trump “looks manufactured.”
“The thing about Trump is that he’s a bad guy to the point where it looks manufactured,” she said. “Are we playing games here? He can’t really be that bad. I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all — I don’t give a sh*t about that stuff — but it looks like Trump’s just trying to spark division. It looks like a game. Why are we being toyed with?”
Following Badu’s interview, Johnathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, criticized Badu on Twitter for her remarks, calling them “irresponsible and misguided.”
Other people on social media have also voiced their concerns with Badu’s controversial opinions.
Questlove joined the conversation, tweeting, “its not Erykah’s bday, I know she’s alive. She either pregnant by someone we know. or said something crazy. not clicking.”
Badu has responded to the backlash by claiming that the media is using “trigger words” to create controversy.
“The media is banking on our ignorance. Know we won’t read the whole thing. They’ll use controversial quotes with trigger words as Click Bait,” she tweeted.
— With files from the Associated Press