The 44-year-old rapper was travelling from Brisbane to Sydney on a Quantas flight when he took to Twitter to claim that he and his group were the subject of racist abuse from an "aggressive flight attendant".
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.
Qantas said in a statement it rejected the allegation that the incident had anything to do with race and said it was a "misunderstanding". According to the artist, he was using his laptop during the flight, working on new music with a headphone that reduces the surrounding noise, and so did not hear when it was announced on the plane's sound system that the devices had to be turned off. electronics for landing.
The Black Eyed Peas are headlining an event at Homebush in Sydney's west this evening.
Later, he followed up the first tweet with a second featuring a picture of a policeman and named the attendant, labelling her racist.
The result: will.i.am was escorted off the plane by 5 officers. Imagine if the police were as aggressive as [flight attendant].
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The police later let the musician go, he said.
Will.i.am said the flight attendant escalated the interaction by calling the police who met the singer after the flight landed, even though he said he complied with instructions to put his laptop away.
Thank God the other passengers testified that she was out of control.
Another passenger, who declined to be named, said tensions began on the Brisbane tarmac when a different flight attendant told 50 Cent guitarist Travis Ferguson he could not have his guitar on board and would have to check it in.
Interestingly enough, it wasn't just will.i.am who noted the alleged bad behavior by the flight attendant - other passengers came forward, both on social media and reportedly in interviews with police officers to share their concerns that the woman had apparently behaved inappropriately and unprofessionally.
Rapper will.i.am likens his treatment on board a Qantas flight to a "police state" after AFP officers were called to meet him on the plane.
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Will.i.am included the hashtag RacistFlightattendant in his tweets and insisted that he was "targeted" by the employee.
In this case to menace will.i.am & other POC on this flight.
Before finishing: "What did I do wrong?"
He added: "That is the way you're greeted once you land from Brisbane to Sydney flying @qantas with a #RacistFlightattendant".
'We fully reject the recommendation this had one thing to attain with urge'.
"Please do not send Hate", he wrote, addressing his fans.
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"Me too I was on the flight and I was hiding in the toilet shivering, shaking and shuddering uncontrollably while this horrendous racist attack was unfolding", he wrote.