Noise-canceling headphones can expose racists? Rapper/producer will.i.am is accusing a flight attendant of racism on a recent flight from Brisbane to Sydney.
The Black Eyed Peas rapper took to Twitter to detail what happened. Apparently, it all started when passengers were told to put away their electronics, but will didn’t hear the message thanks to using noise-canceling headphones while he was making beats on his laptop.
Despite claiming to immediately comply when he was tapped on the shoulder, will.i.am felt he and coincidentally other passengers of color were treated rudely.
“I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney. I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they [sic] worse service due to a overly aggressive flight attendant…,” he tweeted on Friday, Nov. 15. “I don’t want to believe she racist. But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.”
Even worse, will.i.am was greeted by five police officers at the airport. He went on to reveal the flight attendant’s name while calling out the airline, Qantas.
Sharing the flight attendant’s name caused debate about whether will.i.a, took things too far. But he was adamant that he was using Twitter to file his complaint and that he wasn’t the only one to experience maltreatment. He also noted that the police let him go after numerous fellow passengers co-signed the flight attendant’s ill behavior.
The airline issued its own statement, saying it would follow up but took no accountability.
“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 per 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.”
If it looks like racism, sounds like racism and smells like racism, it’s probably racism.
Peep will.i.am’s tweets below.