Former The X Factor semi-finalist, Misha B, recently uploaded a series of uncomfortable video clips to Instagram (following the Black Lives Matter movement gaining worldwide momentum), in which judges Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh call her "feisty", "over confident" and accuse her of bullying other contestants backstage.
Captioning the footage, singer Misha (full name Misha Bryan), wrote: "Seeing the continuous mistreatment of my brothers and sisters all around the world has reawakened the PTSD that I have worked tirelessly to uproot and I know I do not stand alone on this." She made it clear that she feels she was portrayed as a bully on the programme due to her race.
"In 2011 what I thought at the time would be the best opportunity for me, turned out to be the most painful experience of my life. What you see in this video is 1% of what I endured. They saw an opportunity to tear down a black girl that came from a broken home and worked together to assassinate my character and to sabotage my career by orchestrating lies."
Adding that her poor treatment on the show was to generate headlines, Misha then writes, "Nonetheless today and everyday I am a powerful black woman. I have been aware since I was a child, that my unapologetic nature would offend those that do not feel comfortable in their own skin.... Which results in this kind of behaviour."
In the clips, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow can be seen defending Misha – with the former saying it's expected that contestants be confident on the show and the latter adding in that he wasn't interested in what went on back stage, only who could sell albums (and stating that he believed Misha could do just that).
Misha then followed up with an Instagram Live video in which she also said, "'Feisty', 'mean', these are the common words people use to describe black women. At that moment I just remember feeling like my whole world stopped... These judges spent about one per cent of the time with me and their contestants, apart from Gary [Barlow] and Kelly [Rowland].
"My understanding is you've created this whole narrative of me being overconfident because you are black and black girls are not supposed to be confident."
Tulisa has now broken her silence over the accusations, also taking to social media to post a video along with a public statement.
She captioned the self-recorded footage: "I have witnessed black people being torn down in the industry, especially black women. It is a very real and serious issue. But my issue at that time was a response to actions and was in no way shape or form about race. I have never and will never take part in any oppressive or racist agenda."
In the video, the former X Factor judge says she's sorry if Misha "feels that the situation was racially motivated" and again denied that that was the case.
"I regret was calling her out publicly the way that I did. If I was the person that I am today, who is more emotionally intelligent and has more life experience, I would've handled it in a very different way and for that, I am truly sorry. But to say and make claims – and I'm not saying she's doing that, but people are online – that it was racially motivated is ludicrous."
"It's nothing to do with race. I didn't wake up and go, 'I want to cause some drama for Misha B because of the colour of her skin.' She did some things that I felt I needed to pull her up on. These things were real and they were happening."
An extract from Gary Barlow's autobiography has also resurfaced, in which the Take That star says producers encouraged Tulisa and Louis to stoke drama by telling them Misha had been picking on other contestants and suggesting they confront her over it.
An X Factor spokesperson told Radio 1 Newsbeat that Misha's claims were being investigated, "We are currently looking into this matter. The welfare of our contestants is our priority and we are committed to diversity and equality."
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