Chad Brownlee Dropped from Universal After Sharing Anti-Semitic Meme

BY Matt BobkinPublished Jun 11, 2020

After sharing an anti-Semitic image, Canadian country singer Chad Brownlee has been dropped from Universal Music Canada.

"As of last week Universal Music Canada has made the decision to part ways with Chad Brownlee," a Universal rep tells Exclaim!

On June 2, Brownlee shared a meme to his Twitter and Instagram pages depicting Jewish billionaire George Soros manipulating chess pieces Photoshopped to look like anti-fascist protesters and particles representing COVID-19, implying that Soros is funding recent protests against police brutality while also perpetuating the anti-Semitic belief that Jewish people have outsized control over the media.

Brownlee later removed the posts and published an apology to his social media the following day, stating, "I sincerely apologize for sharing an image last night on social media that was wrong, inappropriate and could be perceived as racist."

He wrote, "With everything going on in the world, and with so much understandable pain, fear and frustration felt by those outside of the power structures of society, my intention was to highlight that we all need to be more aware of the presence of these power structures and how they impact our lives."

No public statement about Brownlee's actions or his removal from Universal Music Canada has been made by the label. Brownlee has also not publicly commented on his removal from the label.

UPDATE (6/12, 11:30 a.m. ET): Brownlee has now shared a second apology. He wrote, "This past week I made a life altering mistake. What became so embarrassingly apparent was that I knew very little about the Jewish community, its history, and the extremely hurtful antisemitic symbolism that has been used against it. The image I posted is racist and highly offensive."

He added, "Because causing immense pain to the Jewish community wasn't bad enough, I also did this on a day we were all to be quiet to allow time to reflect how racism impacts the Black community," in reference to Blackout Tuesday and the Show Must Be Paused, an initiative in which a majority of the music industry went silent on June 2 in acknowledgement of systemic anti-Black racism in the music industry.

He states that he will be making donations to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, the GoFundMe page in support of Gianna Floyd, whose father George Floyd was killed after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, and the NAACP. Read his full statement below.


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