Jesy Nelson is responding to accusations of Blackfishing and cultural appropriation levelled against her in the aftermath of the release of her debut solo single “Boyz” with Nicki Minaj.Over the weekend, social media users accused the former Little Mix member of purposefully changing her style in order to appear racially ambiguous in the music video for “Boyz,” which was released on Friday.Nelson addressed the controversy in an Instagram Live with Minaj, saying that she never intended for her music video to offend anyone.
“I personally want to say that my intention with this video and my song was never to offend people of colour because, like I said, growing up as a young girl, this is the music that I listened to,” Nelson, 30, was quoted by People as saying. “These are the videos that I thought were the best after watching them.
For me, the ’90s R&B were the best years in music. That was all I wanted to do. I just want to honour that era of music, which I adore.””My intention was never, ever, ever to offend anyone, and it genuinely hurts me that I may have offended people and actually, like, hurt people’s feelings just by genuinely celebrating something that I love,” she continued.
Nelson was chastised by Black social media users for allegedly tanning her skin darker and attempting to appear biracial in her music video while singing about wanting a man who is “so hood, so good, so damn taboo” with “tattoos and those gold teeth.
“Nelson also told Vulture in a Friday interview that she was “just being herself” and that she loved Black culture and Black music.”If you look at me on X-Factor with my big curly hair, I was wearing trainers and combats — that’s who I am as an artist and as Jesy,” she explained to the publication. “Now that I’m no longer a member of Little Mix, I’ve returned to being myself.
As I previously stated, I never want to be an artist who is told what to wear or what music to make.”The outlet stated that it had scheduled follow-up calls with Nelson to discuss the Blackfishing allegations, but her team cancelled them and issued a statement instead.”I take all of those comments seriously,” Nelson said in an interview with Vulture. “I would never intentionally do anything to make myself appear racially ambiguous, so I was taken aback when the term was directed at me.”
Nelson left Little Mix in December of last year after opening up about her struggles with low self-esteem and poor mental health during her time with the girl group in her 2019 documentary “Odd One Out.” “Boyz” marks her first solo release since signing with Polydor in May.
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