will.i.am has blasted a flight attendant who “called the police on him”, saying her actions were down to racism.
The musician, real name William Adams, said he was on a Qantas flight from Brisbane to Sydney when the incident occurred as he described his experience on Twitter.
will.i.am, 44, explained how problems arose after he wasn’t able to hear instructions over the PA because of his noise cancelling headphones.
The Voice UK judge posted: “I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney. I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they worse service due to a 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 (sic).”
He then went on to describe how he felt “intimidated” when five officers turned up in Sydney after the flight attendant called the police, although no further action was taken.
I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney.
I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they worse service due to a 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 (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
He added: “@Qantas I was making music wearing noise canceling 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…
“@Qantas 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 (sic).
“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?
He went to suggest the flight attendant “singled out every person of colour” on the flight and that “other passengers agreed she was out of hand”.
will.i.am went on: “I’m sorry? Is callin the police on a passenger for not hearing he P.A due to wearing noise canceling headphones appropriate? If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.
“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… (sic).”
The rapper faced criticism after initially naming the staff member as his followers began directing messages toward her.
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… https://t.co/rcND4e1JUx
— will.i.am (@iamwill) November 16, 2019
He asked fans to stop attacking the woman in question, as he posted: “This type of disrespect and name calling is uncalled for – I don’t support abuse and attacks like this,’ he wrote at about 5pm.
“I hope that everyone can be more compassionate & understanding towards one another…because it was the lack of compassion that caused this.”
In a statement from Qantas obtained by Yahoo News UK, they said: “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.”
The Australia Federal police confirmed to the Daily Mail: “AFP officers met the flight on arrival and spoke to crew and passengers on board. No further action was required as a result. The AFP considers this matter finalised.”
It comes as will.i.am’s group The Black Eyes Peas were performing in Sydney on Saturday night before travelling to Auckland, New Zealand for another tour date on Sunday.