Björk: “I pay taxes in Iceland”

Björk Guðmundsdóttir and Jón Gunnarsson.

Björk Guðmundsdóttir and Jón Gunnarsson. Photo: mbl.is/Styrmir Kári

Icelandic recording superstar Björk has responded to criticism of her outspoken views on environmental issues, explaining her choice of words.

In a recent interview on Sky TV, the world-famous singer directly refers to Iceland’s Prime Minister and Finance Minister as “rednecks”, a comment which – due to a specific translation of the English term (‘sveitalubbar’) used in Icelandic media – has been interpreted by some as a slur on people living in rural areas.

“I love the countryside,” clarifies Björk in no uncertain terms in a new Facebook post. “To my mind, a ‘redneck’ is somebody who thinks their ‘tribe’ is better than others, who are convinced that they can live apart from the collective […], who think they are above nature and should control it.”

“I love Iceland with all my heart – particularly its nature and rural areas,” she concludes.

Icelandic politician and MP Jón Gunnarsson has recently caused a stir by criticising Björk after her Sky interview (see below).

“I don’t imagine Björk will be making much of a contribution to [bolstering Icelandic society by investing in renewable energy] – does she pays taxes in Iceland? I don’t know. She looks a bit out of it in that mask she’s wearing,” reads his Facebook post on the subject.

“PS. I do pay taxes in Iceland,” is Björk’s succinct reponse.

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