Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am says 'racist' Qantas flight attendant called the police on him
The police were waiting for the singer at Sydney airport after his clash with "overly aggressive" crew member on the plane.
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am has accused a Qantas flight attendant of being “racist” and “beyond rude” to him during a flight from Brisbane to Sydney, according to British newspaper The Guardian. The flight attendant reportedly called the police on him, who were waiting when the musician landed in Sydney airport on Saturday (Nov 16).
He took to the internet to voice his frustrations, tweeting: “I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they (sic) 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.”
The singer wrote on Twitter that he was wearing noise-canceling headphones when the standard announcement was made to put away laptops and other electronics. Unable to hear the announcement, will.i.am left his computer out. But he did put his laptop away when the flight attendant asked him directly. He said the police were called after he took too long to put his laptop away.
“Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing the PA due to wearing noise cancelling headphones appropriate?” he tweeted.
"I did comply quickly and politely, only to be greeted by police," will.i.am wrote later. "I think I was targeted."
In subsequent tweets, the rapper used the hashtag #racistflightattendant, named the woman and shared an image of her and an Australian federal police officer.
“.@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 as (the flight attendant),” he wrote.
In a statement emailed to CNN, Qantas said the incident had nothing to do with race.
"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," the Australian airline said. "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."
According to CNN.com, when other Twitter users pointed out that the flight attendant was being subjected to online abuse, the singer urged his 12.8 million followers on Twitter not to engage in that behavior.
"Please do not send Hate ... This type of disrespect and name calling is uncalled for ... I don't support abuse & attacks like this ... I hope that everyone can be more compassionate & understanding towards one another ... because it was the lack of compassion that caused this," he wrote.
will.i.am was in Australia with the Black Eyed Peas as part of the band’s 2019-20 world tour and performed in Homebush on Saturday night.