Wiley has denied being racist and apologised for “generalising” after posting a series of antisemitic comments to his social media pages.
In an interview with Sky News, which is set to air in full this evening (July 29), the London rapper addressed the widely condemned messages he shared online over the weekend, which resulted in him being permanently banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
“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,” he said, claiming that a disagreement with his manager, who is Jewish, had prompted the tirade.
“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.”
He added: “I’m not racist, you know. I’m a businessman. My thing should have stayed between me and my manager, I get that.”
Wiley’s manager, John Woolf, confirmed on Saturday (July 25) that his A-List Management company had “cut all ties” with the grime artist, saying that “there is no place in society for antisemitism”.
When asked by Sky News whether his remarks were antisemitic, the rapper replied: “My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people,” but added that “the Jewish community are powerful within the music business.”
Wiley was banned from Facebook yesterday (July 28) after an account reportedly belonging to the rapper began calling out some of his Jewish critics.
An unverified profile under his real name, Richard Kylea Cowie, subsequently mentioned a selection of Jewish celebrities — including Lord Sugar, comedian David Baddiel and BBC presenter Emma Barnett — who have all criticised him.
As PA Media reports, another message is said to have mentioned Golders Green – an area of north London with a large Jewish community.
Wiley’s posts are also being investigated by the Metropolitan Police, who said: “The Met takes all reports of antisemitism extremely seriously. The relevant material is being assessed.”