Twitter dumps UK rapper over anti-Semitism

Grime artist Wiley has apologised after he posted several anti-Semitic comments on Twitter.
Grime artist Wiley has apologised after he posted several anti-Semitic comments on Twitter.

British rapper Wiley has been permanently suspended from Twitter after he posted several anti-Semitic tweets to his page.

The 41-year-old, whose real name is Richard Cowie, wrote that Jewish artists had privileges and were exploiting black artists.

"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 anti-Semitic," he told Sky News on Wednesday.

"I'm not racist," he told Sky News. "I'm a businessman. My thing should have stayed between me and my manager."

Wiley's former manager John Woolf, who is Jewish, said they have cut ties.

Earlier this week Twitter users, citing the hashtag NoSafePlaceForJewHate, said they would not use the platform for 48 hours in protest over Wiley's remarks.

While some of Wiley's tweets were deleted based on Twitter's community guidelines, others remained visible, prompting sharp criticism of the platform.

A spokesperson for Twitter has apologised that the company "did not move faster and are continuing to assess the situation internally", Britain's Press Association news agency reported.

In the Sky News interview, Wiley said he was willing to return his award as Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), which he received in 2018.

There have been calls for him to be stripped of the honour, while the rapper said he "never wanted it".

Wiley is famous for contributing to the London grime scene, which is a musical subgenre of hip hop.

Australian Associated Press