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Entertainment Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

13:20  18 november  2019
13:20  18 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Flight attendants fire back at will . i . am after he accused a stewardess of racism and say 'no one The rapper accused her of singling him out after she asked him to stow his laptop The Veronicas released a statement in support of the Black Eyed Peas star Flight attendants have fired back at rapper will . i . am after he accused a Qantas stewardess of

US rapper and songwriter Will . i . am accused a Qantas flight attendant of being racist during a Saturday flight from Brisbane to Sydney.

  Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer © Getty MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.

The U.S. singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia's most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.

He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-cancelling headphones to "make beats".

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In a series of tweets, will . i . am accused a Qantas flight attendant of racism , a charge the airline denies. Black Eyed Peas rapper will . i . am has accused a Qantas flight attendant of treating him with racism on a flight, but he’s facing some criticism on social media for naming the flight attendant and

Musician will . i . am says a Qantas flight attendant was " racist " towards him during a flight from Brisbane to Sydney. The Black Eyed Peas band's frontman tweeted that he was singled out when he missed a plane announcement to put his laptop away. Qantas issued a statement denying the allegation.

Qantas, which called the incident a "misunderstanding", has requested the rapper to retract his statement.

  Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer © Getty "Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this," a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.

Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. "The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalised," they said in a statement.

On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, "Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-cancelling headphones appropriate?"

He added, "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."

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Qantas has vehemently denied will . i . am 's accusations , saying the "misunderstanding" was exacerbated by the rapper "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

Qantas said in a statement it rejected the allegation that the incident had anything to do with race and said it was a “misunderstanding.” “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

As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.

  Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer © Getty He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.

"This is what Twitter is for...we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world," will.i.am said.

Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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