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.
The Black Eyed Peas frontman claimed a flight attendant was ‘racist’ and aggressive’ towards him on his flight from Brisbane to Sydney on Saturday.
First complaining about his experience on Twitter, he said the woman singled him out when he missed an announcement to put his laptop away.
Rapper will.i.am likens his treatment on board a Qantas flight to a ‘police state’ after officers were called to meet him on the plane
Singer will.i.am, who’s real name is William Adam launched into a Twitter rant (pictured) after he believed he was abused by Qantas flight attendant because of his race
will.i.am, real name William Adams, was wearing noise-cancelling headphones as he mixed music on his computer as the plane was coming in to land.
The artist was shocked that police were called as he didn’t think the altercation was a big deal at the time.
‘I’ve never seen this, it was like a police state,’ he told the Sunday Telegraph.
‘I am the coolest traveller, I don’t ask for much. I try to stay out of their way. I come on the plane to go to sleep or I go to work.’
‘She asked me to put my laptop away and I put it away and I told her to relax because the whole flight she was stressed.’
Five Australian Federal Police officers boarded the plane after it arrived in Sydney and discussed the incident with will.i.am and his entourage.
will.i.am was wearing noise-cancelling headphones as he mixed music on his computer as the plane was coming in to land and missed the announcement
They decided not to take any action and later called the rapper to tell him this in person.
The artist said he shared the story with his 13 million Twitter followers and named the flight attendant because others may have been abused in the past.
He said other passengers didn’t have the profile he did, so it was his responsibility to bring the issue to light.
However, will.i.am insisted that he wanted ‘no harm’ to come to the flight attendant and ‘hopefully this is a lesson’.
‘She shouldn’t lose her job over it – if anything she should be retrained on how to deal with people. This is an opportunity to be pleasant to everyone, to just be nice,’ he said.
He maintained the incident was racially motivated because the flight attendant allegedly singled out only people of colour on the flight.
‘I don’t want to believe she racist. But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour,’ he said.
Qantas chalked the whole incident up to a misunderstanding, but rejected and claims of racism.
‘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,’ it said.
‘We completely reject the suggestion this had anything to do with race.’
Where is the love? Some were quick argue the woman was only doing her job and it was not right to name and shame her to his millions of followers
Qantas only said ‘we’re looking into what occurred’ in regards to whether the flight attendant would face punishment.
will.i.am, who is visiting Australia as part of the RNB Fridays Live festival with Black Eyed Peas, began his Twitter rant about 12.30pm on Saturday.
‘I’m sorry to say me and my group have experienced the worst service due to an overly aggressive flight attendant,’ he wrote.
‘I don’t want to believe she racist. But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.’
He then went on to specifically name the flight attendant and shared a shaky photo of a federal police officer, who greeted the group on disembarking the plane.
‘This is how you’re greeted when you land from Brisbane to Sydney flying @qantas with a #RacistFlightattendant,’ he wrote.
Will.i.am is visiting Australia as part of the RNB Fridays Live festival with Black Eyed Peas
‘She sent the police after me because I couldn’t hear the P.A while making beats on the plane wearing noise cancelling headphones.’
However, a witness to the incident – who does not wish to be named – told the Daily Telegraph the stoush came after 50 Cent’s guitarist Travis Ferguson was told he would have to check his instrument in rather than take it on board.
The passenger said Ferguson left the plane and returned with his guitar, leading to a verbal altercation that will.i.am was oblivious to because he could not hear it through his noise-cancelling headphones.
The Australian Federal police confirmed to Daily Mail Australia on Saturday that they had responded to a request for assistance from an airline arriving into Sydney from Brisbane and spoke to the crew and passengers on board.
‘AFP officers met the flight on arrival and spoke to crew and passengers on board. No further action was required as a result. The AFP considers this matter finalised,’ a spokesperson said in a statement.
The woman believed to be the flight attendant has been contacted for comment.