Will.i.am Says ‘Racist’ Flight Attendant Called Police On Him Over A Laptop
By Parker Diakite
Grammy award-winning singer will.i.am, known famously as a member of the group Black Eyed Peas, said he experienced racism when a flight attendant called the police on him after an incident on board a Qantas Airways flight.
The singer, who was on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney, Australia, addressed the incident on Twitter:
“I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they worse service due to a[n] 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 color.”
According to will.i.am, the flight attendant called the police, even though he said he complied with instructions to put his laptop away.
“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?” he continued on Twitter.
Another customer on the flight came to the singer’s defense.
“I was on the same flight and couldn’t believe the appalling behavior of the flight attendant,” Twitter user @kate_selway said. “My apologies on behalf of Australia.”
Officials from Qantas responded to the incident on Saturday and told The Washington Post, “There was a misunderstanding on board, which seems to have been exacerbated by will.i.am wearing noise-canceling headphones and not being able to hear instructions from crew,” adding “we completely reject the suggestion this had anything to do with race.”
The incident, however, did come with some backlash.
Some people accused will.i.am of directing hate and harm to the flight attendant for simply doing her job.
“I don’t wish any harm to anyone…I just everyone to be respected and treated with dignity… the last thing I want is for someone to be in harm’s way,” he tweeted.
He added that he doesn’t regret his actions of shedding light on wrongdoing by the airline.