Björk Clarifies "Redneck" Statement - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Björk Clarifies “Redneck” Statement

Published December 15, 2015

Photos by
Timothée Lambrecq

Björk has clarified her use of the pejorative term “redneck” in interviews with Sky News and Rolling Stone last week. “It’s a minority of redneck politicians, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance especially – who are trying to erase the highlands,” Björk said in the Sky News interview.

The use of “redneck” raised eyebrows in some quarters. The slight has been interpreted as being against a perceived lack of sophistication in rural people, but both the PM and Finance Minister are Reykjavík city folk, so it has also been interpreted as being against Iceland’s political class, or Icelanders as a whole.

This led to some hyperbolic debate on everything from Björk’s attitudes and patriotism to her tax status, and the subsequent release of a follow-up statement from Björk, which we’ve translated:

dear icelanders and their media

i’ve been at the summer cottage , IN THE COUNTRYSIDE ( which i love ) and have evidently missed quite some mudslinging . maybe for the best . now i don’t usually defend myself but for the sake of the nature preservation campaign i would like to try to correct one big misunderstanding :

i want to discuss the Icelandic media’s translation of the word “redneck” which I used in interviews with rolling stone, sky news and others last week . in my mind this word describes people who think that their people are better than others . they are convinced that they can live without the rest and are often for the use of weapons . they think they are superior to nature and that they should have control over it .

to me this word is not necessarily tied to rural areas , ‘rednecks’ are everywhere in all countries

and just so that it is clear: i love Iceland with all my heart and especially its nature and the countryside

let’s go countryside !!!

merry christmas

warmth

björk

p.s. yes I pay taxes in iceland

The “p.s.” is a response to Independence Party MP Jón Gunnarsson, who had criticised Björk on various fronts after her use of “redneck.” His comments included mystifyingly calling Björk “dull-eyed”, and questioning her tax status. His remarks met with a considerable backlash.

A quick Google search reveals:

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 19.56.29

What do you think, readers? Was it funny? Inappropriate? Harmless? Offensive?

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