Black Eyed Peas musician will.i.am could face legal action after he accused a Qantas flight attendant of being racist.
The singer detailed the alleged behavior on Twitter over the weekend, which the Australian airline claimed was a misunderstanding.
The incident started when will.i.am tweeted to his 12.8 million followers that an “overly aggressive flight attendant” was rude to him and the people he was with while traveling from Brisbane to Sydney on Saturday. The singer wrote that he was wearing noise canceling headphones and didn’t hear the order to put away his laptop, and that he was “targeted” as a result.
“I don’t want to believe she racist,” he wrote. “But she has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour.”
When he landed at the airport, will.i.am said he was greeted by several police officers. He then named the flight attendant in a tweet and said she “was beyond rude & took it to the next level by calling the police on me.”
A fellow passenger took to Twitter, saying that she “couldn’t believe the appalling behaviour of the flight attendant. My apologies on behalf of Australia.”
A Qantas spokeswoman told Travel + Leisure on Monday the airline initially “replied that there appeared to be a misunderstanding on board that was exacerbated by the fact will.i.am was wearing noise canceling headphones.”
But the spokeswoman added that “we rejected claims of racism and have since asked will.i.am for a retraction of that claim. We fully support our crew and the great work they do ensuring safety of all those on board. Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this.”
On Monday, will.i.am tweeted that he is “in the public eye & I behave even when I have a bad day” and that “everyone should operate with respect. especially people who serve the public,” when fellow fans took him to task for venting on social media.
The Black Eyed Peas are currently in Australia for their 2019-20 world tour, according to CNN.