Qantas is back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons today, after international hip-hop star will.i.am tweeted a series of accusations at an air hostess who allegedly called the Australian Federal Police on him.
In will.i.am’s version of the story, the flight attendant was rude to all people of colour on flight, he and his entourage included, and things escalated when he failed to hear the P.A. announcement because he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones. He says that the flight attendant alerted the police, who met him at the gate in Sydney before letting him go without charge.
Now, Qantas has issued a statement about the event, strenuously denying that it had anything to do with racial profiling.
A spokesperson told P.TV:
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.
The musician and Black Eyed Peas member is in Australia for the band’s 2019/20 world tour. Here’s hoping he doesn’t have any more mid-air “misunderstandings” that require the attendance of the Australian Federal Police for the rest of his time in the country. Noise cancelling headphones: not worth the risk.Image: Getty Images / Cameron Spencer