Wiley dropped by management over antisemitic social media posts

Grime star’s longtime on-and-off manager, who is Jewish, says ‘there is no place in society for antisemitism’

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 25 July 2020 09:36 BST
(Rex)

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Wiley has been dropped by his management company after a series of antisemitic posts were made from his social media accounts.

The grime artist’s longtime on-and-off manager, John Woolf, announced that A-List Management had “cut all ties” with him over a number of offensive tweets that targeted the Jewish community.

Woolf, who is Jewish, wrote on Twitter on Saturday 25 July: “Following Wiley’s antisemitic tweets today we at A-List MGMT have cut all ties with him. There is no place in society for antisemitism.”

He had earlier said he did not support or condone what Wiley, whose real name is Richard Cowie, posted but that he would speak to him privately and “help educate him”. He also claimed that, having worked with Wiley for 12 years, he could say the musician “is not antisemitic”.

A number of posts were made from Wiley’s unverified Twitter account on 24 July, including one which read: “I would challenge the whole world of Jewish community on my own I am not scared I can handle them.”

Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, accused Cowie of being a “racist”, and said he was ”spouting Jew hate, like neo-Nazis and the rest of them”.

In a statement issued on Friday, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Our Crime Unit has reported this matter to the Metropolitan Police Service as we consider that Wiley has committed the offence of incitement to racial hatred, which can carry a substantial prison sentence.

“We have additionally asked Twitter and Facebook, which owns Instagram, to close down his accounts which have hundreds of thousands of followers, to prevent further outpouring of anti-Jewish venom.”

They added that they would be contacting the Cabinet Office to ask that Wiley’s MBE is revoked. Wiley, who is known as the “Godfather of Grime”, received an MBE for services to music in 2018.

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“Wiley has many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and we have seen today that many of them truly believe the unhinged hatred that he is spreading,” the spokesperson said.

“We are treating this as a very serious matter which must be met with the firmest of responses.”

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