British musician Bryan Ferry, founder and lead vocalist of the art-rock group Roxy Music, is known for his smooth visual and vocal style. His clumsy tongue, however, has recently been giving the 1970s icon headaches: In a March interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Ferry professed admiration for the Nazi aesthetic. “My God, the Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves,” he said in an interview with the paper. “Leni Riefenstahl’s movies and Albert Speer’s buildings and the mass parades and the flags — just amazing. Really beautiful.”
Deeply upset by the resulting controversy, Ferry insisted that his comments were about art and not politics. “Like all sane people,” Ferry wrote on his Web site, “I find the politics of fascism and Nazism to be abhorrent, and I deeply apologize to anyone who was unintentionally hurt by the way my comments were misrepresented in the media.”
In the July 20 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Ferry elaborated further. “I’ve embraced two cultures in my career: black American music and American Jewish culture, which produced George Gershwin and Kurt Weill,” he said. “The idea that I’m anti-Semitic is ludicrous!” Nevertheless, British retail giant Marks and Spencer, co-founded by Polish Jew Michael Marks, has dropped the 61-year-old singer from the advertising campaign for its Autograph line.