Montreal, QC – November 11, 2022 – Controversial French rapper Freeze Corleone has a performance planned in Montreal in December. Strongly denounced in France for the fundamentally antisemitic lyrics of his songs, in 2020, Universal Music France terminated their contract with the rapper; streaming platforms took down his hateful content; and he was subsequently investigated for incitement to hatred. Despite this troubling history, citing “freedom of expression,” the Montreal concert venue has decided to proceed with the show. Many are disappointed to see that Corleone is now provided with a new platform for his hate, in Montreal.
In response, Eta Yudin, Vice President – Quebec, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, released the following statement:
“It is troubling that there is an audience for hateful rhetoric but, as the rising incidents of antisemitism in Canada and around the world demonstrate, Jew-hate, bigotry, and racism continue to fester.
“We should not be blind to messages of Nazi ideology, Hitler, or Third Reich apologists, to conspiracy theories, or the trivialization of the Holocaust. We know too well where they lead.
“The Canadian government, following the example of others around the world, made Holocaust denial illegal with the inclusion of Article 319 (2.1) in Canada's Criminal Code. If Corleone brings his hateful messages to Canada, and should he condone, deny, or downplay the Holocaust, this action could amount to “wilful promotion of antisemitism” as per the Criminal Code.
“We condemn the antisemitic messages of his music and past statements made amounting to Holocaust denial. We are counting on our fellow Quebecers to show that his values are not aligned with those we hold dear. It is the responsibility of each of us to combat hatred and antisemitism, and we hope that his performance here will not become a platform to promote hatred against any group.
“Cancelling is one thing but refusing to purchase tickets makes a stronger collective statement against hate. Furthermore, we would encourage the owners of the Olympia to follow the example of others who, when faced with artists who have promoted hatred, have chosen to donate the proceeds of the events to causes that promote education, peace, and coexistence.
“We know that much hate is a result of ignorance, so donations to the Montreal Holocaust Museum would be especially appropriate to promote Holocaust education and counter Corleone’s ignorant and hurtful rhetoric.”
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