Last night at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Los Angeles, John Mellencamp took a stand against anti-Semitism. Mellencamp was on hand to pay tribute to legendary music industry lawyer Allen Grubman. Grubman was honored with the Ahmet Ertegun Prize. He’s been Mellencamp’s attorney for 40 years. Grubman is also one of the founders of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
By Billboard, Mellencamp said, “Allen is Jewish, and I bring it up for a reason: I’m a Gentile and my life has been enriched by countless Jews.” In his speech, Mellencamp said, for Variety“Guys, I can’t tell you how important it is to speak up if you’re an artist. Every time you hear hate speech or something derogatory about someone else… We are all human beings I don’t care if you are Jewish, black, calm, tutti frutti… I don’t care!
He continued, “Here’s the trick: Silence is complicity…I stand here tonight loud and clear and in solidarity with Allen, his family, all my Jewish friends and all the Jewish people of the world. F— Anti-Semitism and f— anyone who says something like that.
The singer didn’t mention Kanye West by name, but the rapper has made several anti-Semitic comments lately. It appears to have inspired other anti-Semitic protests in recent weeks, including in Florida and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Holocaust Museum says they were inundated with anti-Semitic messages after West rejected their offer to visit their museum. The museum tweeted at Westpointing out that he has more than 30 million Twitter followers, more than twice as many Jews as there are on earth.
Yahoo! reported that Grubman told reporters, “I had no idea what he was going to say; he wanted to keep it a secret. He added that the Rock Hall had requested a copy of the notes written for the night to display in the museum.
In addition to talking about Grubman, Mellencamp joined Bruce Springsteen in paying tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis, who passed away last month. You can watch an edited version of last night’s induction ceremony on HBO and HBO Max. It airs Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m. ET.