Jesy Nelson and Nicki Minaj criticised for ‘mocking’ Leigh-Anne Pinnock in Instagram Live

Nelson and Minaj collaborated for the former Little Mix star’s debut solo single

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 12 October 2021 10:18
Jesy Nelson laughs as Nicki Minaj appears to mock Leigh-Anne Pinnock.mp4
Leer en Español

Jesy Nelson and Nicki Minaj have courted controversy after taking part in an Instagram Live chat in which they appeared to mock Nelson’s former bandmate, Leigh-Anne Pinnock.

On the evening of Monday 11 October, the pair discussed their collaboration on Nelson’s solo single, “Boyz”, but talk also turned to an alleged comment by Pinnock leaked from an Instagram message.

The leaked message, which could not be verified by The Independent, purportedly showed Pinnock calling Nelson a “horrible person” and referring to her ongoing blackfishing controversy.

The Independent has contacted Pinnock’s representative for comment.

“If you was in this woman’s group and you ain’t talk about this s*** for 10 years,” Minaj said during the Live, “and as soon as you see she got a video coming out with Nicki Minaj and Puffy, now you sending text messages and all this s***… print those text messages out, bust your ass open and shove them up your motherf***ing ass.

“Stop trying to hurt people and kill people’s lives and careers, this is the way people feed their families. Stop – if you want a solo career, baby girl, just say that,” she added.

“Only jealous people do things like this. It makes you a big jealous bozo. I love you guys but please don’t do this. Let these people be miserable all by themselves.”

Jesy Nelson and Nicki Minaj in the video for ‘Boyz’

Nelson appeared to laugh in response to Minaj’s outburst.

The exchange has drawn criticism on social media, with many accusing the singer of hypocrisy due to her own comments about internet bullying. She released a BBC documentary on the subject, Odd One Out, last year.

“So Jesy can make a documentary about cyberbullies, but sat there laughing as Nicki said s****y things [about] Leigh on a live with over 100k people watching…that ain’t right,” one viewer said.

“Jesy Nelson made an entire documentary on BBC about being kind and trolling online, but just sat and laughed as Nicki Minaj slated Leigh-Anne Pinnock to 100k viewers on a live. That just does not sit right with me,” one widely shared tweet said.

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

“Terrible vibes,” another person wrote. “That live just seemed to show her as hypocritical re: trolling and cyberbullying, lacking the range & inauthentic when it comes to both music and her own branding.”

Another tweet said: “Jesy Nelson made an entire documentary about the importance of kindness and online trolling, but happily sat there and laughed as Nicki Minaj ripped Leigh-Anne Pinnock to shreds in front of 100k people on their Instagram live. That s*** makes me uncomfortable.”

The Independent has contacted Nelson’s representative for comment.

“Boyz” has been widely derided both for its lyrics and the widely criticised music video that was released at the same time, which drew allegations of blackfishing.

The term is often used to describe non-Black people who have altered their appearance to appear Black or racially ambiguous, by using makeup, hairstyles, cosmetic procedures or social media filters.

Asked about the “blackfishing” allegations in an interview with Vulture, Nelson said: “The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.”

She added: “I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.”