Politicians and musicians have condemned anti-Semitic tweets by Grime artist Wiley, which have seen him banned from the social media platform for a week.
On Friday evening and Saturday morning, the musician posted a series of tweets including one that said: “I would challenge the whole world of Jewish community on my own I am not scared I can handle them.”
He also posted an Instagram video in which he said: “crawl out from under your little rocks and defend your Jewish privilege”.
1. I've been thinking what to write about @WileyCEO tweets. I'm still not 100% sure but think its important to say something now. Any kind of racism/prejudice is wrong. Whatever he thinks or feels about Isreal is his opinion but this should not overspill onto Jewish people.
— DJ SPOONY (@DJSpoony) July 25, 2020
The posts have been widely condemned, and Twitter has come under fire for allowing them to remain visible for more than 12 hours after they were first posted. A number of tweets have now been removed.
Grime producer DJ Spoony said the comments were “at best inflammatory and at worst criminal in some aspects”.
He wrote on Twitter: “I’m a very proud black man who has genuine love for everyone however wrong is wrong. I’m not going to publicly ‘hang’ him. Education is the only way to battle bigotry in any form.”
He encouraged members of the Jewish community to message Wiley to help him see “the error of his ways”.
We unequivocally condemn Wiley’s antisemitic comments. @wileyceo received The Ivors Inspiration Award in 2019 for his musical contribution to grime in the early 2000's.
We stand against all forms of intolerance. Such appalling views have no place in the music creator community. pic.twitter.com/GZwOR8JwkJ
— The Ivors Academy (@IvorsAcademy) July 25, 2020
The Ivors Academy, who gave Wiley their Inspiration Award in 2019, said they “unequivocally condemn” his comments.
“We stand against all forms of intolerance. Such appalling views have no place in the music creator community.”
We released some records by Wiley between 2007 and 2014. We fully condemn Wiley's comments and royalties from those records will be donated to campaigns that fight anti-Semitism.
— Big Dada (@bigdadarecords) July 25, 2020
Big Dada records, which released some of Wiley’s records between 2007 and 2014, tweeted: “We fully condemn Wiley’s comments and royalties from those records will be donated to campaigns that fight anti-Semitism.”
Singer Jess Glynne called it “disgusting” and told the rapper: “Check yourself”.
However, So Solid Crew, an early UK garage collective, have come out in support of Wiley.
Their account tweeted: “We stand by Wiley.
“I don’t agree with all of Wiley’s tweets and the ones I do agree with I’ve liked and retweeted, the end. We stand by him as friends who know he doesn’t really mean all he say’s and will try to eventually assist him in addressing things in a more respectful manner.”
A number of MPs have questioned why the tweets had been left up for so long.
Just seen all the Wiley stuff. Why on earth have @Twitter left up such blatant antisemitism and hatred? It hits all the dangerous beats, Jews get things you don't get, they are in control, they think their better… This is dangerous stuff. Surely it should come down.
— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) July 25, 2020
Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “Just seen all the Wiley stuff. Why on earth have @Twitter left up such blatant antisemitism and hatred? It hits all the dangerous beats, Jews get things you don’t get, they are in control, they think their better… This is dangerous stuff. Surely it should come down.”
Fellow MP Neil Coyle added: “His management appear able to act quicker than @Twitter emphasising, once again, that legislation (including the Online Harms Bill) should ensure social media platforms are not used to spread hate.”
#Wiley comments are beyond unacceptable. Antisemitism is racism, Anti-racism is anti-racism no ifs no buts.
I've stopped following him. I think he needs help and an intervention from family and friends.
— Dawn Butler MP✊🏾 (@DawnButlerBrent) July 25, 2020
Dawn Butler, MP for Brent, said the comments were “beyond unacceptable”.
She tweeted: “Antisemitism is racism, Anti-racism is anti-racism no ifs no buts. I’ve stopped following him. I think he needs help and an intervention from family and friends.”
The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has also contacted the Cabinet Office to ask that Wiley’s MBE is revoked.