Former Little Mix star Jesy Nelson responds to 'Blackfishing' accusations

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Photo credit: @jesynelson - Instagram
Photo credit: @jesynelson - Instagram

Jesy Nelson has responded to the recent 'Blackfishing' accusations made against her.

The singer, who left top-selling girl group Little Mix at the end of last year, was initially criticised by Black audiences in 2018 for altering her appearance to come across as Black or racially ambiguous by wearing cornrows, over-lining her lips and having tanned skin.

She received similar backlash while launching her first solo single 'Boyz' with Nicki Minaj.

Vulture reports that critics are saying she sings in a Blaccent and is "disingenuously using the aesthetics of Black women and R&B" to launch her solo career.

Photo credit: @jesynelson - Instagram
Photo credit: @jesynelson - Instagram

Related: Jesy Nelson hopes Little Mix can "all come back together in the future"

Speaking about the Blackfishing accusations, Jesy replied: "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 were 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. But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That's all I know; it's what I grew up on."

The star also said: "I'm very aware that I'm a white British woman; I've never said that I wasn't."

Photo credit: Republic/Polydor/Universal Music Group
Photo credit: Republic/Polydor/Universal Music Group

Related: Jesy Nelson explains what caused her to quit Little Mix

Asked about whether users have been blocked for criticising the star in the comments section on Instagram, Jesy said she didn't know about it and her team may have been responsible.

Following the interview, Jesy clarified to Vulture via email: "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. My management team have access to my account & they were trying to protect me & my mental health."

In an attempt to further discuss the Blackfishing accusations, the outlet reached out again to Jesy's publicist, who said on her behalf: "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."

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