will.i.am Accuses Qantas Flight Attendant Of Being 'Racist' And 'Overly Aggressive'
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am has accused a Qantas flight attendant of racism and claimed she was "overly aggressive" during an incident on a flight between Brisbane and Sydney on Saturday.
In a series of tweets which have quickly gone viral, the rapper and singer claimed he and the group he was travelling with were targeted by an "overly aggressive" flight attendant.
He also accused the woman of being "racist" claiming she "clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour."
According to the rapper, the incident occurred after he couldn't hear a PA announcement because he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones while "making beats" on the plane.
"Is callin [sic] the police on a passenger for not hearing he P.A due to wearing noise canceling [sic] headphones appropriate?" will.i.am said on Saturday, replying to one user on Twitter.
"If didn’t put away my laptop “in a rapid 2min time” I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted."
will.i.am, who is due to perform with the Black Eyed Peas in Sydney on Saturday night, claimed the incident escalated after the flight attendant called authorities.
The rapper later claimed he was "intimidated" by five officers at the airport after the plane landed.
But Qantas has insisted the issue onboard the flight was simply a "misunderstanding".
In a statement, a Qantas spokesperson said the company "completely rejects" the suggestion 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," the spokesperson said.
"We’ll be following up with will.i.am and wish him well for the rest of the tour."
While many fans have thrown their support behind the rapper with some saying they had been on the flight with him and had witnessed the incident, others slammed the rapper for identifying the flight attendant by name, leading to the woman copping abuse on social media.
will.i.am said he complained to Qantas publicly because it was the only way he would be heard.
"I'm using the same tool you would use if you were wrongly accused of doing something & pulled away by police officers," he said, adding that he still didn't understand what he had done wrong.
He later told his fans to stop sending hate to the flight attendant who he had named, saying that he did not wish to harm anyone.
"This type of disrespect and name calling is uncalled for...I don’t support abuse & attacks like this," he said alongside an image of an abusive comment levelled at the flight attendant.
"Hope that everyone can be more compassionate & understanding towards one another...because it was the lack of compassion that caused this."
The incident comes months after an altercation involving Australian pop duo The Veronicas who claimed they were unfairly thrown off a Qantas flight by cabin staff.
Featured Image: AAP
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