Little Mix has broken their silence about ex-bandmate Jesy Nelson and addressed her ‘blackfishing’ row.
Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Perrie Edwards said the 30-year-old’s actions are ‘harmful and problematic to people of colour’.
They told Daily Telegraph Stella magazine: “Capitalising on aspects of blackness without having to endure the daily realities of the black experience is problematic and harmful to people of colour. We think it’s absolutely not okay to use harmful stereotypes. There’s so much to say on that subject that it’s hard to sum up in a sound bite.”
They went on to insist that they made Nelson aware of the issue while she was still in the band – something the ‘Boyz’ singer has previously denied.
They said: “One thing we will clarify regarding the blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner.”
Nelson caused outrage when she released the video for her debut solo single, which features rapper Nicki Minaj, earlier this month.
She was accused of ‘trying to look like a black woman,’ as she was shown sporting curly hair and a deep tan, and the lyrics also drew criticism as she sings about liking men with ‘gold teeth’ who are ‘hood’.
Despite the backlash, she gave an interview to Vulture insisting she is ‘very away’ that she is a ‘white British woman’.
She said: “The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that [blackfishing allegations]. And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.
“I wasn’t on social media around that time, so I let my team [deal with it] because that was when I’d just left.
“But I mean, like, I love black culture. I love black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on. I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.”
When Nelson was then asked to partake in another interview to discuss the blackfishing allegations, she refused.
However, she did provide a statement that read: “I take all those comments made seriously.
“I would never intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous, so that’s why I was initially shocked that the term was directed at me.”
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