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Little Mix break silence over Jesy blackfishing branding it problematic

In their first interview as a threesome Little Mix have explained they spoke to ex bandmate Jesy Nelson about blackfishing before she even left the band

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 11: Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards of Little Mix pose in the media room during The BRIT Awards 2021 at The O2 Arena on May 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images)

Little Mix have broken their silence over ex bandmate Jesy Nelson’s blackfishing row – branding her attitude “harmful and problematic to people of colour”.

In an eloquent interview with the Daily Telepraph Stella magazine Leigh-Anne Pinnock, whose BBC documentary, Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop and Power was a huge hot with fans, explains it is not acceptable to use harmful steprotypes.

She says: “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 OK to use harmful stereotypes. There’s so much to say on that subject that it’s hard to sum up in a sound bite.”

And the girls confirm Jesy was aware of the issue as they explained it to her before she even quit the band last December.

They say: “One thing we will clarify regarding the blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner.”



Back in 2019 – before the cracks appeared




Jesy, 30, has been criticised by people online because of how she looked in the video for her debut solo tune called Boyz.

Many took to social media to accuse the singer of blackfishing, which is when a non-black person tries to appear black.

Jesy however denied she was even wearing fake tan and said during an Instagram Live stream with superstar rapper Nicki Minaj that she had been to Antigua weeks before the video shoot so she was tanned already.

Her comments come after former bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock had warned her about blackfishing.

Jesy said during the livestream: “I personally want to say that my intention was never, ever to offend people of colour with this video and my song because like I said, growing up as a young girl, this is the music that I listened to.



Jesy with braids in her music video for new single Boyz
(

Image:

jesynelson/Youtube)




She continued: “My intention was never, ever, ever want to offend anyone and genuinely it actually does really hurt me that I may have offended people and actually, like, hurt people’s feelings just by genuinely celebrating something that I love.”

The singer admitted that she felt fortunate to tan easily in the sun and claimed that Leigh-Anne had previously commented on how she tanned.

When she addressed the alleged comments made by Leigh-Anne about blackfishing, Jesy said: “It’s just hard for me because I was in a group with two women of colour for nine years and it was never brought up to me up until the last music video I did with them.”



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