Black Eyed Peas front man Will.i.am had a kerfuffle during the band’s Australia stop of their 2019-2020 world tour when a ‘racist’ flight attendant targeted him for being a person of color.
During the Black Eyed Peas’ flight from Brisbane to Sydney, William Adams, widely known as Will.i.am asserted that a racist flight attendant who was contentious towards him and other passengers of color called the authorities on him. The singer-songwriter went to social media and released a succession of tweets regarding the incident that happened in their Qantas Airways flight, stating that an ‘overly aggressive’ flight attendant seemed to be averse towards him during the entire flight and posted a picture that showed an officer was called in to see him after their flight.
In his tweets, he mentioned the flight attendant’s name while tagging Qantas’ Twitter account and gone out to say that this specific flight attendant picked on every person of color in their flight.
People released a report after a spokesperson from Qantas rebuffed Will.i.am’s claims that the incident did not have anything to do with race.
The incident apparently started when the artist wasn’t able to hear the P.A. announcement because he was wearing noise-canceling headphones and the authorities were called because of it. He also denied that the whole thing started during the safety warning of the flight before the aircraft took off.
The Grammy Award-winning artist went on to explain that he politely conformed immediately when the flight attendant asked him to put away his laptop. He then asked in one of his tweets if it was appropriate to report a passenger of an airline to the police for not being able to hear the P.A. because of the noise-canceling headphones.
He was also met with some criticism in naming the flight attendant on Twitter, stating that he stands by his decision to do so but then asked others to not spread the hate towards the Qantas attendant. He also went at People for ‘choosing to spread hate’ because of their report. Will.i.am went on to say that Twitter is a resource that all people, both rich and poor can use to speak out when things go awry.
“Today I FELT discrimination…and I spoke for all the other people who are voiceless.”
Qantas is still steadfast with their claim that the incident was because of race or color. According to the statement they sent to People, the whole incident was a misunderstanding which uncontrollably snowballed due to Will.i.am’s noise-canceling headphones and was unable to hear the announcement from the flight crew. Qantas has completely rejected this racial suggestion and will be following up with the artist regarding the issue.
The Black Eyed Peas concluded their Australia and New Zealand leg with their show in Western Springs Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand.
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 #noH8 pic.twitter.com/zNwoIyyaBP
— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019