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Will.i.am claims “racist” flight attendant called the police on him in Australia

The rapper was flying from Brisbane to Sydney when the incident took place.

November 17, 2019
Will.i.am claims “racist” flight attendant called the police on him in Australia Image via Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images.  

Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am took to Twitter to share his frustrations about a racist incident in Australia, where the group is currently on tour, according to CNN.

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The rapper claims a Qantas flight attendant called the police on him and his crew after he failed to put his laptop away near the end of a flight from Brisbane to Sydney. Will.i.am says he had noise-canceling headphones on and missed the announcement to put away all electronics, later putting his laptop away as soon as the flight attendant asked him directly. He then says the flight attendant was "beyond rude" and called the police; who were waiting at the Sydney airport when the plane landed. They later let the rapper the rest of his crew go.

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"This is how your [sic] greeted when you land from Brisbane to Sydney flying @qantas with a #RacistFlightattendant named Lorraine Marshall," the rapper tweeted. "She sent the police after me bacause [sic] I couldn’t hear the P.A while making beats on the plane wearing noise canceling headphones." He went on to clarify that he complied with the instructions, but believes he was targeted. "I don’t want to believe she racist," he went on to tweet. "But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour."

In addition to calling the flight attendant by name, he also shared her photo to Twitter which some users pointed out left her open to online abuse. The rapper later tweeted for his followers to "not send hate" and stated, "this type of disrespect and name-calling is uncalled for."

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The airline responded to the incident in a statement to CNN. "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," they explained. "We completely reject the suggestion this had anything to do with race."

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Will.i.am claims “racist” flight attendant called the police on him in Australia