Aviation

Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am accuses Qantas flight attendant of racism for calling cops on him

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

In a bizarre turn of events, Qantas is once again under fire for its treatment of celebrities following a dispute between Black Eyes Peas frontman will.i.am and a flight attendant.

The rapper, whose real name is William James Adams Jr., took to Twitter while onboard a Qantas flight from Brisbane to Sydney on 16 November, claiming a flight attendant had “aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour”.

“I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney. I’m sorry to say 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,” he tweeted.

The rapper said the flight attendant was “overly aggressive” towards him because he couldn’t hear an announcement as he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones.

He also said he was “intimidated” by five police officers when the plane landed but was let go after other passengers onboard the flight testified that the flight attendant was “out of control”.

The Veronicas also took to Twitter to voice their support for will.i.am and said the flight attendant whom he named in his tweets was the same woman who saw the famous twins kicked off a Qantas flight in September following a dispute over carry-on luggage.

“Sadly, this female flight attendant was one of two attendants involved in our incident with Qantas,” the Veronicas said in a now-deleted tweet, according to Pedestrian.

“We feel sickened she was given no reprisal and has instead continued to abuse her position, discriminate, and misuse the full force and intimidation of the Australian Federal Police to her agenda.

“In this case, to menace will.i.am and other POC (persons of colour) on this flight.”

The Australian reported the flight attendant was being supported by family and friends after will.i.am’s followers ‘trolled’ her on social media.

The rapper urged fans not to target the woman in a later tweet.

“Please do not send hate… this type of disrespect and name-calling is uncalled for… I don’t support abuse and attacks like this… I hope that everyone can be more compassionate and understanding towards one another… because it was the lack of compassion that caused this #noH8,” he said.

A Qantas spokesperson said the airline completely rejects the suggestion the incident had anything to do with race.

“There was a misunderstanding onboard, which seems to have been exacerbated by will.i.am wearing noise-cancelling headphones and not being able to hear instructions from crew,” the spokesperson said.

“We’ll be following up with will.i.am and wish him well for the rest of the tour.”

The Australian also reported that the flight attendant wasn’t the same woman who was involved in the Veronicas incident and that it was a case of mistaken identity.

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