Plan B has apologised for wearing a T-shirt promoting 80’s neo-Nazi band Skrewdriver – saying he hadn’t heard of the band or their motives.
An image of the British rapper wearing a shirt with the band’s name on it appeared on the cover of the latest issue of Shortlist magazine – prompting an outcry from some commentators.
Plan B released a statement, which has been posted on The Quietus, saying the garment was not an official Skrewdriver T-shirt, and it was in fact a homemade one based on a photo by photographer Gavin Watson.
“I was ignorant to the existence of the band Skrewdriver. I don’t listen to music like that so I wouldn’t know the names of bands that make that music. I was wearing a T-shirt I created using a photograph from the photographer Gavin Watson’s book Skins.”
“I asked him if I could print shots from his book onto T-shirts. I made a number of these T-shirts. Gavin’s photos are relevant to me because they represent the demonised youth of the past.
The rapper said the ‘Screwdriver’ text was graffiti lying in the background of the image. “The graffiti behind him is graffiti. Neither Gavin or Neville put it there; it was already there when Gavin took the photo. Gavin did not know I had printed that image on a T-shirt and I was not aware of the significance of it.”
“The minute I found out what the words on the T-shirt meant I was angry with myself for not questioning them. The T-shirt is not official nor is it on sale anywhere. It was of my own doing and therefore it is my mistake, but that is all it is.”
NME has described Skrewdriver as a notorious neo-Nazi “white power” group with links to the National Front. Founding member Ian Stuart Donaldson died in a car crash in 1993 and his death is celebrated every year by the far-right movement.