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Qantas Asks will.i.am For 'Racism' Retraction

Qantas says it will support legal action by one of its flight attendants who Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am accused of being "racist" and "beyond rude" to him during a flight from Brisbane to Sydney.

The rapper was met by police at Sydney Airport on Saturday after he clashed with the staff member, who he claims was "overly aggressive" to him because he couldn't hear her through his noise-cancelling headphones.

"I'm sorry to say me and my group have experienced they (sic) worse service due to a overly aggressive flight attendant... I don't want to believe she (sic) racist. But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour," he tweeted.

In subsequent tweets, the rapper used the hashtag racistflightattendant, named the woman and shared an image of her and an Australian Federal Police officer.

".@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 (the flight attendant)," he wrote.

A Qantas spokesman on Monday said the airline would be willing to provide legal support the flight attendant.

"Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we'd certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this," the spokesman told multiple media outlets.

On Saturday Qantas said it "completely reject(s)" the allegation that the incident had anything to do with race.

"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 spokesman said in a statement.

"We'll be following up with will.i.am and wish him well for the rest of the tour."

The airline sent a memo to staff about the situation, saying Qantas fully supports its crew members, The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

"We rejected claims of racism and have since asked will.i.am for a retraction of that claim," the memo says.

"We fully support our crew and the great work they do ensuring safety of all those on board."

Responding on Monday to a tweet criticising his decision to publicly identify the crew member, will.i.am said on Twitter "everyone should operate with respect."

"Especially people who serve the public," he wrote.

In response to a tweet which claimed that wearing noise cancelling headphones isn't an excuse given his experience with flying, the rapper said noise cancelling was becoming standard.

"People who serve the paying public need to know that passengers have on devices that block out outside sound ... sending the POLICE after them is a bit much," he tweeted.

AAP has contacted Qantas for comment.