Bob Dylan has long been considered a progressive thinker, a symbol of counterculture and a proponent for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. And now, he’s being sued for racism.
The Council of Croats in France is suing the legendary rocker for remarks made in an interview with the French version of Rolling Stone last year, the Croatian Times reports. When a reporter asked Dylan to compare the antebellum era to present-day America, Dylan made a reference to the tangled history between Croatians and Serbians.
“If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”
Tension between Serbs and Croats has long existed, which sparked a war from 1991 to 1995 when Croatia separated from Yugoslavia.
“You cannot compare Croatian criminals to all Croats. But we have nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer,” said Vlatko Marić, secretary general of the group and a member of the Croatian World Congress.
Though Dylan is not a French citizen, stricter European free speech laws mean he can be sued. Dylan did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.