Wiley insists he's 'not racist' after being banned from Twitter over anti-Semitic tweets

29 July 2020, 15:11

Wiley has spoken out after making anti-Semitic comments
Wiley has spoken out after making anti-Semitic comments. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Wiley has insisted he's "not racist" after he was banned from Twitter following an anti-Semitic tirade, saying he shouldn't have "generalised".

The Grime artist, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie, was dropped by his manager- who is Jewish - following his comments, and says he will hand back his MBE following the backlash.

He told Sky News: "I just want to apologise for generalising and going outside of the people who I was talking to within the workspace and workplace I work in.

"My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologise for generalising, and I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as antisemitic."

Wiley received national condemnation over the two-day long outburst on social media, in which he called Jewish people "cowards and snakes" and compared them to the Ku Klux Klan.

The Grime artist, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie, was dropped by his manager following the tirade
The Grime artist, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie, was dropped by his manager following the tirade. Picture: PA

Twitter has since permanently banned him from the platform, six days after his original post.

The social media website have since apologised for being slow to act on.

A company spokesperson said: "Upon further investigation, our teams have permanently suspended the account in question for repeated violations of our hateful conduct policy.

"Let us be clear: hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service and we strongly condemn antisemitism. We are sorry we did not move faster and are continuing to assess the situation internally. "

The company added: "We deeply respect the concerns shared by the Jewish community and online safety advocates, and we will continue to work closely with government, NGOs, civil society partners and our industry peers to tackle antisemitism on Twitter."

Police are now investigating the incident.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "We have received a number of reports relating to alleged anti-Semitic tweets posted on social media.

"The Met takes all reports of anti-Semitism extremely seriously. The relevant material is being assessed."Anyone with further information can report it online or via 101 with reference 4219917/20."

The Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomed the news that "Twitter has finally listened", but said the action was "too little too late".

It said in a statement: "It is at least a start for this deeply irresponsible social network.

"After Twitter's abysmal response to the blatant ant-Jewish incitement on its platform, last night we decided to literally shine a light on the company and project onto its London headquarters some of the hateful tweets that Twitter permits on its platform.

"From their pitiful responses to the hate spewed daily on their platform, it is evident that social media companies will stop at nothing to make a profit. It is time for these deeply damaging and irresponsible companies to be held accountable for the hatred they help spread."