John Legend has revealed that he was recently called a “monkey” by a photographer.
The singer was apparently with his wife Chrissy Teigen at John F. Kennedy airport in New York when the alleged incident took place. You can watch him discussing it through Variety below.
Shortly after the incident Teigen also took to Twitter. She wrote: “Paparazzi at JFK just asked me if we evolved from monkeys, why is John Legend still around? – and people wonder why celebs lose it in pics.”
“We were right next to each other and we looked at each other like, ‘Did he really just say that?’ And he really said it. He basically called me a monkey,” Legend added.
Paparazzi at JFK just asked me "if we evolved from monkeys, why is John Legend still around?" – and people wonder why celebs lose it in pics
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 19, 2017
— Variety (@Variety) January 22, 2017
“Black folks have had to deal with being called monkeys for a long time and dehumanisation has always been kind of a method of racism and subjugation of black people and that’s just part of American history – and it’s part of the present, apparently.
“We saw with the former president, Obama, whenever people wanted to discount him or discount his wife, they compared them to apes. And we’ve seen that frequently. I’m not hurt by someone saying that to me because I’m smarter, I’m stronger. I look down on that person that would say something like that. But it’s a shame that it still exists.”
Legend is set to make an appearance in the forthcoming second season of Underground. He is an executive producer on the show, which tells the story of the underground railroad.
He previously spoke of his disappointment after West met up with Donald Trump in New York.
“I don’t think it’s impossible to talk to him about issues, but I won’t be used as a publicity stunt. And I think Kanye was a publicity stunt. I’m pretty disappointed with Kanye that he says he would have voted for Trump,” Legend added.