Qantas Airways is backing its flight attendant – verbally and possibly legally – after musician will.i.am called her racist in a series of tweets over the weekend.
“We rejected claims of racism and have since asked will.i.am for a retraction of that claim,” the Australian airline said in a statement. “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.”
The Black Eyed Peas singer had not responded to the carrier’s statement by Monday afternoon, but earlier in the morning he continued to defend his behavior on the plane and handling of the ordeal.
Will.i.am tweeted on Friday (Saturday in Australia) that during a trip from Brisbane to Sydney, a flight attendant behaved aggressively toward him after he didn’t hear a public address message because he was wearing noise-canceling headphones. He said he “quickly and politely” put his laptop away when asked, but the flight attendant – whose name he included – escalated the situation by calling the police.
“I was intimidated by 5 police officers when I landed…for what? I put away my laptop when she asked…why would she feel threatened by me to call the police? What did I do wrong? I wasn’t out of hand.. I was polite & did what she asked… now you’re asking me to take abuse?” he tweeted.