Black Eyed Peas founder will.i.am is calling out a Quantas flight attendant he alleges is “racist” after an in-flight altercation that resulted in the singer being greeted by police when his flight landed in Sydney, Australia.
He took to Twitter to complain about the “overly aggressive flight attendant,” adding, “I don’t want to believe [she’s] racist. But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.”
He explained what took place in a series of subsequent tweets, claiming he was met by police when the plane landed because the flight attendant — who he identified by name — called law enforcement because he didn’t put away his laptop when instructed, claiming he missed the announcement because he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones.
His complaints quickly went viral, but will.i.am’s decision to name the flight attendant resulted in some of his fans issuing personal attacks at her, something he tried to shut down.
The airline has responded to the incident, denying the flight attendant’s actions had anything do with the colour of will.i.am’s skin.
“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 Quantas spokesman told The Independent. “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.”
Qantas also said they would be offering legal assistance to the flight crew member.
“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,” a spokesman told Reuters.
Will added on Twitter: