Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am suggested he was targeted by a “racist” flight attendant in an incident he detailed on Twitter Friday evening.
The singer, whose real name is William Adams, detailed his clash with a flight attendant on a Qantas flight from Brisbane to Sydney.
“I’m currently on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney. I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced they [sic] worse service due to a [sic] overly aggressive flight attendant,” he said in a series of messages. “I don’t want to believe she racist. But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.”
The incident appeared to have something to do with the performer missing an announcement due to his noise-cancelling headphones — an incident that ultimately resulted in police confronting him upon his arrival.
“I think I was targeted,” will.i.am mused.
“I was intimidated by 5 police officers when I landed…for what?” he asked. “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 Grammy-winner received backlash for airing his complaint publicly but argued that he was posting it so “this doesn’t happen again…it shouldn’t happen to a [sic] Aboriginal, Latino, African, LGBTQ White, Red or anyone.”
“Everyone deserves to be treated with respect,” he continued.
He also urged his followers to refrain from issuing threats of harm or hate, calling it “uncalled for.”
“I don’t support abuse & attacks like this,” he wrote in part. “I hope that everyone can be more compassionate & understanding towards one another…because it was the lack of compassion that caused this #noH8.”
“I don’t regret my actions of taking to public to speak for the other for those who don’t have the voice who felt the same disrespect… I am saddened that People chose to spread hate and attack… there were other people on the flight were disrespected,” he said.
A spokesperson for Qantas denied the accusations of racism in a statement to The Independent, describing the situation as a “misunderstanding on board.”
“There was a misunderstanding on board, which seems to have been exacerbated by will.i.am wearing noise-canceling headphones and not being able to hear instructions from crew,” the spokesman said.
“We completely reject the suggestion this had anything to do with race,” the spokesman added. “We’ll be following up with will.i.am and wish him well for the rest of the tour.”