Music

Rapper Will.I.Am Has Called Out A Qantas Flight Attendant For Racist Actions

The Black Eyed Peas rapper says the incident happened when he was travelling from Brisbane to Sydney, as part of the line-up for RNB Fridays Live.

The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am has called out Qantas on Twitter this weekend, after he was met by police as he was disembarking a flight from Brisbane to Sydney.

Currently in Australia as part of touring festival RNB Fridays Live, the rapper accused a Qantas flight attendant of racism, describing her as “overly aggressive” and “beyond rude”.

“I don’t want to believe she racist,” he wrote. “But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.”

Calling out the woman by name, and using the hashtag #RacistFlightattendant, will.i.am described being apprehended by five police officers in Sydney. One tweet even included a picture of an officer’s body.

According to the musician, he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones to make music on the flight, and could not hear the PA. The flight attendant then called police on the ground when he failed to respond to her request to put away his laptop for landing.

“I think I was targeted,” will.i.am wrote.

He was let go in Sydney after other passengers came to his defence, saying that the flight attendant “was out of control”.

Replying to tweets defending the airline and the woman, will.i.am explained: “she singled every person of colour in the flight and gave them a hard time…and went to the extreme of calling the police on me when I did nothing wrong”.

He also explained his motive for publicly naming and shaming the woman and airline to Kiwi entertainment reporter Peter Ford.

He has since urged his followers not to send abusive messages to the flight attendant involved.

In a statement Qantas denied that the flight attendant’s actions were racially motivated.

“There was a misunderstanding on board, which seems to have been exacerbated by will.i.am wearing noise cancelling headphones and not being able to hear instructions from crew.

We completely reject the suggestion this had anything to do with race.

We’ll be following up with will.i.am and wish him well for the rest of the tour.”

In September, The Veronicas were “offloaded” from a Sydney to Brisbane Qantas flight for apparently failing to follow cabin crew instructions. They’ve come out this morning in support of will.i.am, saying that their incident involved the same flight attendant.

“We feel sickened she was given no reprisal & has instead continued to abuse her position, discriminate, and misuse the full force and intimidation of the Australian Federal Police to her agenda.”