Was she Blackfishing…or Nah?
Former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson was slammed by social media critics this week after people accused the singer of using a “Blaccent” and looking suspiciously melanated in her debut single “Boyz” featuring Nicki Minaj.
“The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden we’re 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,” Nelson told the publication.
“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,” she continued.
Elsewhere in the interview, Nelson was asked whether she had been deleting comments about Blackfishing on social media, to which she replied:
“I don’t know about that. Maybe it was my team.”
The star revealed after the interview that her publicist did in fact remove comments related to Blackfishing from her social media accounts.
Jesy Nelson: pic.twitter.com/3MNkqlL3wk
— L E X (@iamlexstylz) October 8, 2021
jesy nelson on the set of the boyz music video: pic.twitter.com/5VAh4TDXZj
— 🌷 (@cheryIaIoud) October 8, 2021
The Brit Award recipient shared a statement about the move to Vulture following the interview stating that her team made the swift sweep of negative chatter to protect her mental health.
“I know comments relating to this had previously been deleted from my IG account, I only found out afterwards that a member of my management team had deleted comments. I’ve spent years being bullied online, so I limit the amount I go on socials,” she wrote. “My management team have access to my account and they were trying to protect me and my mental health.”
Nelson rose to fame following Lil Mix’ success on the British version of The X Factor in 2011. The group consisted of three other members including Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock. Nelson departed the group in 2020 to launch her solo career, where she later signed with Polydor Records back in May of this year, according to NME.
“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,” the singer added.
Do you think Jesy Nelson was Blackfishing in her new single? Take a look at the video for yourself above and tell us what you think.