15 Organizations send letter to the Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann highlighting Waters’ history of antisemitism and bigotry.
LOS ANGELES (July 19, 2023) — Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) released a letter calling on Bertelssman Music Group (BMG) to reconsider its business relationship with Roger Waters. The non-profit entertainment industry organization was joined by 14 of the world’s leading Jewish organizations.
CCFP is a non-profit entertainment industry organization comprised of prominent members of the entertainment community who’ve come together to promote the arts as a means to peace and to educate about rising antisemitism.
The letter comes in response to Roger Waters’ recent concerts in Germany where he performed in a Nazi-like uniform and compared a Palestinian-American journalist to Anne Frank.
“We believe that artists, given their massive influence in the world today, have a unique and important responsibility to speak out against bigotry. Mr. Waters has repeatedly shown that he’s determined to do the opposite – and would instead use his voice, his platform, and his public microphone to fan the flames of hatred,” the letter reads.
The following organizations signed onto the letter:
- Creative Community For Peace
- American Jewish Committee
- Anti-Defamation League
- Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council
- B’nai B’rith International
- Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Canada
- Community Security Trust
- Conference of European Rabbis
- Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
- Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France
- European Jewish Congress
- Simon Wiesenthal Center
- South African Jewish Board of Deputies
- World Jewish Congress
- Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland (Central Council of Jews in Germany)
The letter also highlights the growing consensus about Waters’ dangerous behavior among governmental institutions, noting: “the US State Department also stated that Waters’ recent concert “contained imagery deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust.” The State Department added that, “The artist in question has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people.”
“For over a decade, Roger Waters has peddled and promoted antisemitism and leveraged his immense platform to spread his hateful views to millions worldwide. As we witness the continued rise of antisemitism, his words and actions are unacceptable. Our letter demonstrates the Jewish community’s concern that corporations cannot sit idly by while their business partners promote hate. We hope BMG reflects on their historical role with antisemitism and reexamines their relationship with Mr. Waters,” stated Ari Ingel, Director of Creative Community for Peace.
Creative Community for Peace aims to promote the arts and culture as a means to peace and to counter and educate the entertainment industry about rising antisemitism. To learn more about their work, visit www.creativecommunityforpeace.com.
Dear Mr. Rabe,
As you may have seen, BMG’s client Roger Waters recently caused an uproar in Germany when he donned a Nazi-like uniform and compared Shireen Abu Akleh — a Palestinian-American journalist who tragically lost her life while working in a war zone — to Anne Frank, a young girl whom Nazis murdered for simply for being a Jew.
In response to this most recent incident, the EU Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life and the United States Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism, both loudly condemned Mr. Waters.
The US State Department also stated that Waters’ recent concert “contained imagery deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust.” The State Department added that, “The artist in question has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people.”
Unfortunately, the State Department is 100% correct, as this is just the latest in a long list of troubling antisemitic incidents by Mr. Waters.
In the past, he’s described UK Labour leader Keir Starmer as being controlled by Jewish organizations, he’s flown pig-shaped balloons emblazoned with the Star of David at his concerts, he’s falsely blamed Israel for the death of George Floyd, and he’s openly called for the destruction of the State of Israel.
All of this has happened at a time when antisemitic incidents are rising at alarming rates around the world.
We believe that artists, given their massive influence in the world today, have a unique and important responsibility to speak out against bigotry. Mr. Waters has repeatedly shown that he’s determined to do the opposite – and would instead use his voice, his platform, and his public microphone to fan the flames of hatred.
Given Bertelsmann’s unique history – specifically its actions during WWII– we find it troubling that the company would continue to profit from this relationship, especially when you just recently demonstrated that antisemitism should have no home on your roster.
We respectfully urge you to reconsider BMG’s professional ties with Roger Waters and look forward to your reply.
# # #
Cover photo: Stock Photo ID: 2285154609 4 April 2023. Ziggo Dome Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Concert of Roger Waters