Will.i.am has claimed a “racist” flight attendant called the police on him after he didn’t hear an announcement to put his laptop away before take-off.
The rapper and producer tweeted to his followers about the incident, which he said began when he missed the flight announcement due to his noise-cancelling headphones.
“I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney,” he tweeted. “I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they worse service due to an overly aggressive flight attendant… ‘I don’t want to believe she racist. But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.”
Will.i.am then shared a photo of a police officer who had met him when he landed, adding: ‘@Qantas I was making music wearing noise cancelling headphones on the plane… I’m sorry I couldn’t hear the P.A…I complied when she’s tapped me on the shoulder to put my laptop away… It’s sad that your #RacistFlightAttendant sent the police…”
He continued: “This is how your [sic] greeted when you land from Brisbane to Sydney flying @qantas with a #RacistFlightattendant. ‘She sent the police after me because [sic] I couldn’t hear the P.A while making beats on the plane wearing noise cancelling headphones…”
He then said he was grateful for other passengers who stood up for him. “Your #RacistFlightattendant was beyond rude & took it to the next level by calling the police on me. ‘Thank god the other passengers testified that SHE was out of Control. The police finally let me go. imagine if the police were as aggressive as [flight attendant].”
The Black-Eyed Peas star concluded: “I was intimidated by 5 police officers when I landed…for what? I put away my laptop when she asked…why would she feel threatened by me to call the police?”
While many of Will.i.am’s followers have expressed their support, he also received criticism for tweeting the badge number and name of the officer who met him at the airport, along with the name of the flight attendant he accused of racism, to his 12 million followers.
He defended himself, tweeting: “If I did something wrong....or if I was the slightest bit rude to a FAN or a journalist during work, I would be publicly named...this is what Twitter is for...we are supposed to call out wrong doings so we can have a safer more compassionate world.”
A Qantas spokesman told The Independent: “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.
“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.”
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