will.i.am has claimed that a flight attendant on a journey with Qantas behaved in a racist manner towards him.
The American artist was travelling on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney, and seemingly didn't hear a plane announcement to put his laptop away due to wearing noise cancelling headphones.
Taking to Twitter, he alleged that she had behaved in an "overly aggressive" manner that he believed was aimed "only at the people of colour" on the flight.
I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney.— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they worse service due to a overly aggressive flight attendant...
I don’t want to believe she racist.
But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour
A string of tweets followed, with will.i.am seemingly questioned by police upon landing:
I was intimidated by 5 police officers when I landed...for what? I put away my laptop when she asked...why would she feel threatened by me to call the police? What did I do wrong? I wasn’t out of hand.. I was polite & did what she asked... now you’re asking me to take abuse? https://t.co/1390ThymY3— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
Later, he named the flight attendant and shared a photo, earning criticism from some quarters for 'shaming' the individual on social media.
This is me filing a “proper complaint”...this way I know my complaint & treatment will be heard...I’m using the same tool you would use if you were wrongly accused of doing something & pulled away by police officers. I still don’t know what I did wrong for police to come https://t.co/i3ShYc3PaX— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
He is sticking by his version of events, though:
.@Qantas Your #RacistFlightattendant was beyond rude & took it to the next level by calling the police on me. thank god the other passengers testified that SHE was out of Control the police finally let me go. imagine if the police were as aggressive as Lorraine Marshall— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
Qantas have now issued a statement in response to these events: "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."
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.