The German Federal Government’s integration commissioner, Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU), has strongly condemned the migration-critical statements by the singer Xavier Naidoo. Naidoo happens to be from an immigrant family himself.
“Such a video is extremely dangerous given the current threat of right-wing extremism,” said the politician to the Funke media group.
In a video, Naidoo sang, among other things: “I love almost everyone. But what if a murder happens almost every day, in which the guest steals a life from the host.”
The musician took a position on his website on the video from 2018. He has long stood against exclusion and xenophobia, he says, but it is important to be vigilant towards attacks on peaceful coexistence, “no matter from which political direction” they come and “regardless of their origin”.
Widmann-Mauz focused on the Hanau shooting however, urging all to “stand up against racism and strengthen cohesion in our country, instead of generally devaluing people because of their origin, family history, their appearance or religion”.
The musician has Indian, South African, Irish and German roots. He says that his parents came to Germany as guest workers. Adapting to the “right and moral standards of the host” must be a matter of course, he argued.
The private broadcaster RTL has since fired Naidoo from the jury for the show Deutschland sucht den Superstar. “We are advocates of freedom of expression,” said RTL managing director Jörg Graf in a statement. “But that also means that we firmly reject any form of racism and extremism. The videos of Xavier Naidoo that have now surfaced have massively irritated us.”
The music group Die Söhne Mannheims, to which Naidoo had previously belonged, used the occasion to say: “Xavier and we have been going separate ways for some time and as a musicians collective we are clearly and specifically against hatred, violence and racism!” The director and actor Til Schweiger, on the other hand, expressed his solidarity on Instagram.
In a petition, some 38 508 signatories are currently demanding from RTL that the singer be included in the jury again. Naidoo has shaped “German-language soul music like no other”. The “campaign against him and the expulsion” is an “attack on freedom of expression”.