Artist News

Boris responds to Kelis after airport run in

By | Published on Friday 16 September 2011


London mayor Boris Johnson has apologised to Kelis after it was reported that she had been the victim of racial abuse at a London airport, and pledged to look into the incident. Which is all well and good, except it turns out the fracas actually occurred in Spain.

Kelis said earlier this week that a middle-aged English man called her a “slave” and “probably a disgusting Nigerian” after he incorrectly thought she had pushed in at passport control at an unnamed airport, and that no one else in the queue had spoken up. She added “the racial issues in the UK are disgusting, [the country is] racially decades behind progression because everything is swept under the rug”.

Kelis sort of implied this had happened at a London airport, leading to Johnson to take to Twitter to say: “Heard about the treatment you received at a UK airport. Want you to know this is not typical. I’m appalled and I’m on the case”.

But it’s unlikely Boris can help, given that we now know this happened in Spain. While the London mayor could have taken a London airport to task for their staff not stepping in, he can’t really do anything about one idiotic racist, other than, I suppose, dedicating the rest of his political career to fostering better racial harmony in Britain.

After Boris tweeted, Kelis clarified as follows: “Just to clarify, because apparently there’s been some confusion, I was in the UK (as always) this time for Bestival (which was great). I took a flight from Gatwick back to Spain. I landed in Spain and that’s when the fat pink faced British guy who was on the plane with me called me a slave and [told me] to call him sir. It was at passport control. I didn’t think to make that clear at the time because I was shaken and furious. Now you know”.