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Black Eyed Peas musician will.i.am has accused a flight attendant from Australia’s national carrier Qantas of being racist and rude to him on a flight.
The musician says he was met by police Saturday at Sydney Airport after an incident with an “overly aggressive flight attendant” who he says was upset with him because he couldn’t hear her through his noise-cancelling headphones.
will.i.am tweeted a photo of a police officer and said: “This is how your greeted when you land from Brisbane to Sydney flying @qantas with a #RacistFlightattendant.” He then named the flight attendant.
“I did comply quickly and politely, only to be greeted by police,” Will.i.am wrote. “I think I was targeted.”
This is how your greeted when you land from Brisbane to Sydney flying @qantas with a #RacistFlightattendant named Lorraine Marshall…She sent the police after me bacause I couldn’t hear the P.A while making beats on the plane wearing noise canceling headphones… pic.twitter.com/9xT7WqTUoO
— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
After dubbing her #RacistFlightattendant on Twitter, the musician claimed the flight attendant “clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.”
The musician was let go by police after the meeting.
After noticing the flight attendant was being subjected to online bullying, the musician emphasized that despite frustrations with the incident, he thinks it was due to a “lack of compassion.” In other tweets, will.i.am said he wasn’t the only person on the flight to be “disrespected.” Some Twitter users who said they were passengers on the flight agreed with him.
will.i.am did, however, get criticized by some who felt it was inappropriate for him to publicly name the flight attendant on his Twitter account, which has 12.8 million followers.
“I don’t regret my actions,” he said, adding in another tweet that “today I FELT discrimination…and I spoke for all the other people who are voiceless.”
will.i.am also advised, “Please do not send Hate…This type of disrespect and name calling is uncalled for…I don’t support abuse & attacks like this…I hope that everyone can be more compassionate & understanding towards one another…because it was the lack of compassion that caused this.”
The airline said in a statement, “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’ll be following up with will.i.am and wish him well for the rest of the tour.”
The Black Eyed Peas are in Australia to perform as part of a world tour.
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