Will.i.am defended his actions claiming he was speaking for others by calling out the wrongdoing.
The Black Eyed Peas’ singer will.i.am took to Twitter on Friday to detail an experience he had on a recent Qantas flight that he called racist.
According to the singer, the incident occurred on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney after he was using noise canceling headphones during flight safety announcements.
Will.i.am said the flight attendant escalated the interaction by calling the police who met the singer after the flight landed, even though he said he complied with instructions to put his laptop away.
“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? What did I do wrong? I wasn’t out of hand.. I was polite & did what she asked… now you’re asking me to take abuse?” the singer tweeted.
Following the incident, will.i.am sent a series of tweets accusing the flight attendant of racism and identified her by name, which drew a swift backlash on Twitter. He tweeted at the airline with the hashtag “#racistflightattendant”.
Qantas airline responded to the incident Saturday with a statement to The Post saying: “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.”
Critics of will.i.am’s decision to name the flight attendant said he was using his platform of more than 12 million Twitter followers to direct hate at a person simply doing her job.
Will.i.am responded by saying he didn’t intend for anyone to go after the flight attendant, but defended his actions claiming he was speaking for others by calling out the wrongdoing.
“I am posting so that this doesn’t happen again…it shouldn’t happen to a Aboriginal, Latino, African, LGBTQ White, Red or anyone… everyone deserves to be treated with respect…,” will.i.am tweeted.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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