The Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA) has come out in defence of the cabin crew member will.i.am accused of racially profiling him.
Over the past weekend, the Black Eyed Peas frontman took to his Twitter to accuse a Qantas flight attendant of racism. In his side of events, will.i.am said a flight attendant called the cops on him because “I couldn’t hear the P.A. while making beats on the plane wearing noise cancelling headphones…
“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 as [flight attendant’s name].”
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
FAAA secretary Teri O’Toole told The Australian she didn’t think it was fair that will.i.am named the flight attendant on a public platform.
“There are safety protocols that have been put in place by Qantas,” she said. “As employees, crew are bound to follow their employer’s direction. It seems that in doing this, crew are being vilified and attacked on social media.”
O’Toole said the flight attendant’s request to put away will.i.am’s laptop was a “pretty simple one”.
“It’s there to protect passengers.”
She added: “No one should be named and shamed for doing their job and it seems the welfare of the crew involved is not being considered by the celebrities involved.”
Will.i.am said he decided to name the flight attendant because he didn’t want this incident, or something similar, to happen again.
“It shouldn’t happen to an Aboriginal, Latino, African, LGBTQ White, Red or anyone… everyone deserves to be treated with respect…”
In a statement to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Qantas very much denied the allegation of racial profiling.
“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.”