US/World News

Rapper Wiley apologizes for comments about Jews, sort of

(JTA) – The British rapper Wiley apologized for “generalizing” about Jews in tweets directed at his manager and others in the music industry that were widely panned as antisemitic – and then proceeded to make additional assertions about Jews and Jewish control of the music industry. Wiley made the apology in an interview with Sky News after Twitter permanently banned him from the platform. But in that interview and in an interview with The Voice Newspaper, which bills itself as “Britain’s Favorite Black Newspaper,” Wiley continued his tirade.

“My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologize for generalizing, and I want to apologize for comments that were looked at as antisemitic,” Wiley told Sky News in an interview that aired July 29. “I’m not racist, you know. I’m a businessman. My thing should have stayed between me and my manager, I get that.” Wiley’s manager, who is Jewish, following the Twitter tirade by his client announced on Friday that he would no longer represent the rapper.

Later in the Sky News interview, Wiley said British Jews “see us as slaves.” and wondered  “why all of these families are rich, or all of these people have heritage, not just England, like, worldwide.”

In an interview with Wiley also published that day, The Voice wrote that “some of the views espoused by Wiley are the great unsaid outside of the black community. …  not too many seem prepared to vocalize their consternation for some of the recurring themes Wiley believes is the stranglehold one community seems to have over another in particular relation but not confined to, the music business.”

Wiley told The Voice that the people he is talking about specifically are “the people I work with in the entertainment and music industry, the Jewish community that I have experienced.” Asked about his issues with the Jews he has worked with, Wiley said that they are “rich” and have worldwide “heritage.”

Some of Wiley’s tweets were reported to Britain’s Metropolitan Police, who reportedly are investigating them for incitement to racial hatred. Wiley received an MBE, an Order of the British Empire award, in 2018 for his services to music and there are calls for it to be rescinded.

After being banned by Twitter, Wiley moved his social media rants about Jews to Facebook, where he threatened to come to Golders Green, a largely Jewish populated neighborhood of London, and singled out Jewish public figures who have been critical of him. Facebook promptly suspended his account on July 28, saying his posts violate its policies. The Voice subsequently took down the interview, but defended its right to publish it to begin with.

Main Photo: Wiley, shown in a 2018 performance, told Sky News: “I’m not racist, you know. I’m a businessman. My thing should have stayed between me and my manager, I get that.” (Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty Images)

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