Black Eyed Peas star Will.I.Am is currently in the country for R&B Fridays Live, but he claims he had a pretty nasty, racist experience on a QANTAS flight from Brisbane to Sydney ahead of the Sydney leg of the tour yesterday.
Taking to Twitter, the rapper and producer said that he and the group experienced the “worse service” thanks to a flight attendant that he implied is racist.
“I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney,” he wrote.
“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.”
I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney.
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
— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
In subsequent tweets, he then named the flight attendant, used the hashtag #racistflightattendant and went back and forth with users about whether he was in the wrong or not. He also retweeted several other people claiming that they were on the same flight and that were defending him. You can view all that on his Twitter account here.
He also claimed he was met by police officers once the plane landed in Sydney.
QANTAS released a statement about the incident, defending the flight attendant and saying that Will.I.Am was wearing noise cancelling headphones during the plane’s routine safety briefing.
“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,” a spokesperson for the airline told news.com.au.
“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.”
However, The Veronicas – who have had their own drama with the airline – defended Will.I.Am, saying that their notorious booting off a QANTAS flight of the same route was, in part, due to the same flight attendant.
“We feel sickened she was given no reprisal and has instead continued to abuse her position, discriminate and misuse the full force and intimidation of the Australian Federal Police to her agenda,” they wrote in a statement, as reported by Yahoo!
“In this case to menace will.i.am and other [people of colour] on this flight.”
“Qantas should have run a genuine investigation into the matter, instead of shifting blame and denying accountability.”