In her documentary “Xavier Naidoo – The Return of a Conspiracy Star?” Authors Salwa Hamsi, Milano Banek and Nicholas Wildschutz follow the story of Naidu’s distance-breaking video, which he stunned Germany in April.
“Xavier Naidoo – The Return of a Conspiracy Star?” In the ZDF media library
The film from the ZDF documentary format “Die Spur” shows how the pop star has become radicalized — and why it’s not enough to distance yourself. Salwa Hamsi and Milan Banek have been on Naidoo’s trail for months. They have shown his career from pop star to leading figure in the right-wing conspiracy scene, analyzing extremism based on his songs and telegram posts and speaking to insiders from the music scene. They want to show that Naidoo’s comeback has been in the background for a long time. The movie is already in the ZDF media library – Available until April 28, 2024.
Video from Naidoo: A change of heart – or a mysterious message?
“My first reaction was: Look, look! These things are still possible,” author Max Kzolik says of Xavier Naidoo’s surprising video. The reason for changing Naidoo was the war in Ukraine. But how credible is this transformation? Musicologist Thorsten Hendrich, who researches right-wing rock at the University of Mainz, doesn’t want to talk about Naidoo’s purge: “Everything remains so vague. Instead of taking responsibility for myself and saying: I screwed up.”
Xavier Naidoo Video with Unidentified Message on Youtube
The video was viewed tens of thousands of times on YouTube and Instagram within a few hours and quickly spread across the web. He wonders: How reasonable is this apology? Why is it so mysterious? Is the collapse of sales of his albums the reason for this statement?
Did Xavier Naidoo really turn a compelling course?
Conspiracy expert Joseph Holenberger noted on Twitter that the singer himself had posted right-wing terrorist channels on Telegram and uploaded anti-Semitic graffiti there. So, according to Holenberger, is it possible with a three-minute video to “get rid of so many myths of anti-Semitism, homophobia and conspiracy?” Max Kozolic’s position is clear: “I don’t care if it’s true or not. I don’t care about Xavier Naidoo in this context.”
Musicologist Thorsten Hendrich says his followers and fans don’t care about Naidoo’s statement at all. “This has a positive side effect,” he notes throughout the day. But there is no convincing inner shift, according to the musicologist: “Also in this video, he presents himself as a seeker of truth.”
Naidoo distances himself “without ifs and buts”
The video that singer Xavier Naidoo posted on YouTube on Tuesday began: “I’m in touch with you today because I want to take a stand on something.” “I’ve been open to theories, viewpoints, and sometimes groups that I stay away from without any exceptions or reservations,” says the 50-year-old in a clip of just over three minutes long called “#OneLove.”
Xavier Naidoo rejects allegations of racism
He was “blinded” by plot stories, did not question them enough and sometimes let himself be “exploited.” “Unfortunately, I only realized that now. I’ve said and done things I regret today,” continued the musician from Mannheim. In recent years, Xavier Naidoo has appeared with the so-called Reichsbürger, propagating theories of the QAnon movement and making controversial statements about the Corona pandemic. Lines of text brought him accusations of racism, which the singer himself rejected.
The war in Ukraine caused him to change his mind
In the past, he has defended himself against criticism that he is close to far-right conspiracy stories. In December 2021, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that a speaker could describe him as an anti-Semite. Xavier Naidoo justified his change of opinion on the war in Ukraine. His wife is from Ukraine. “The violence, the contempt for humans, and the fact of a war not far from us shocked and shook me deeply,” Naidoo said. He had to get his family and friends out of the country because “fear and terror” reigned there. The suffering affected him deeply: “The world seemed to have turned upside down and I asked myself how this could have happened.”
He talked a lot to the affected—and had to ask himself critical questions about the statements, for which he was very grateful. “I’ve come to realize the wrong paths I’ve sometimes found myself walking down and that I’ve made many mistakes in recent years.”
Naidoo went on in the video, realizing that he had angered his family, friends and fans and provoked them with “disturbing statements for which I would like to apologize.” Due to the singer’s controversial statements, NDR decided in 2016 to withdraw Naidoo’s nomination for the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm.