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Jesy Nelson Responds To ‘Blackfishing’ Accusations

Kimberley Bond

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Jesy Nelson Responds To ‘Blackfishing’ Accusations

Featured Image Credit: Polydor/Universal

Jesy Nelson has spoken out against recent accusations of ‘Blackfishing’.

The 30-year-old released her debut single Boyz last week, her first track as a solo singer having left chart-topping girl group Little Mix in 2020.

But shortly after the video was released, some people accused Jesy of ‘Blackfishing’ – where a white person appropriates elements of Black culture to appear Black or racially ambiguous.

Jesy Nelson and Nicki Minaj teamed up for Boyz (Credit: Polydor/Universal)
Jesy Nelson and Nicki Minaj teamed up for Boyz (Credit: Polydor/Universal)

But now, the star has responded in an interview in Vulture, who quoted critics who said Jesy sings with a ‘Blaccent’ and is "disingenuously using the aesthetics of Black women and R&B" to popularise herself.

“The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that,” Jesy explained. “And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.

Jesy Nelson denied allegations of Blackfishing (Credit: PA Images)
Jesy Nelson denied allegations of Blackfishing (Credit: PA Images)

“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.”

Jesy was also asked about whether she had deleted comments on Instagram that criticised her or accused her of ‘Blackfishing’ – something that she was happy to clarify.

Jesy Nelson has spoken out (Credit: PA Images)
Jesy Nelson has spoken out (Credit: PA Images)

“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,” she told Vulture in an email.

“I've spent years being bullied online, so I limit the amount I go on socials. My management team have access to my account and they were trying to protect me and my mental health.

“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.”

Jesy Nelson is happy to be doing more R&B music (Credit: instagram - jesynelson)
Jesy Nelson is happy to be doing more R&B music (Credit: instagram - jesynelson)

Jesy added that while she loved being part of Little Mix, her new sound is what she has always wanted to sing. 

“My passion is R&B and hip-hop from the ’90s and early 2000s. That’s what I grew up on.

“It’s the music I’ve always wanted to make, so it feels quite liberating.”

Topics: Celebrity, Jesy Nelson, Little Mix, Music

Kimberley Bond
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