Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am was met by five police officers upon disembarking a plane in Sydney, Australia, Friday following an incident with a Qantas flight attendant whom he called “racist.”
“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,” he wrote in a Friday tweet.
According to Will.i.am’s tweets, he couldn’t hear the attendant’s announcements over the PA system because he was wearing noise-canceling headphones.
“@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…” will.i.am wrote.
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
Tagging the airline, he went on to write, “@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.”
He added, “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?”
In a subsequent tweet, the musician identified the flight attendant by name, prompting many on Twitter to lash out at her. Will.i.am very quickly called for that to stop.
“Please do not send Hate,” he wrote, addressing his fans. “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.”
A Qantas spokesperson responded to the incident in a statement to The Independent: “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.”