Little Mix break silence on Jesy Nelson 'blackfishing' controversy

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Little Mix have addressed the 'blackfishing' controversy surrounding their former bandmate Jesy Nelson.

Jesy, who left the group last December, faced accusations of 'blackfishing' - a slang term for white people who adopt styles to try and look Black - when she released her debut solo single and video Boyz last month, and her former bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock allegedly criticised her for it and called her a "horrible person" in private social media messages to an influencer, leading Jesy's Boyz collaborator Nicki Minaj to take aim at Leigh-Anne during an Instagram Live.

The girl group - also featuring Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards - have kept silent on the controversy in public, but addressed it while promoting their upcoming album with The Telegraph's Stella magazine.

"Capitalising on aspects of Blackness without having to endure the daily realities of the Black experience is problematic and harmful to people of colour," Jade said. "We think it’s absolutely not O.K. to use harmful stereotypes. There’s so much to say on that subject that it’s hard to sum up in a sound bite."

Jade insisted she didn’t want to discuss the feud with Jesy or her music video, but confirmed the Boyz star's revelation that the girls had spoken to her about 'blackfishing' before she left the group.

"We don’t really want to dwell, because we have so much to celebrate as a three," Jade continued. "We’ve dealt with it in the best way that we know how, and got each other through it. We don’t want to talk about the video, or be critical, but one thing we will clarify regarding the blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner."

Leigh-Anne, who has not confirmed if the social media messages were real, previously defended her character at her 30th birthday party in October, telling guests, "I know my character, you know my character, anyone that meets me knows my f**king character - that's all I care about."

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