Stormzy has reaffirmed that Britain still has a major problem with racism in a new interview, while also suggesting that Boris Johnson’s position as Prime Minister has helped to enable those attitudes.
“Definitely, 100%,” he replied, adding that some elements of that racism were still “hidden” within British society.
“It’s like: ‘Oh no, we’re not racist’. But there’s a lot of racism in the country,” he continued. “The difficult thing with the UK is, as you said, in Italy it’s a clear problem, whereas trying to explain that Britain is a racist country [to a British person] is the most difficult thing ever.
“They think: ‘No, it’s not. Stormzy you’re successful. Look at London, there’s loads of black people…’ It’s a more difficult case to fight.”
The grime artist, who previously said he felt that this month’s general election result cast a “dark cloud” over the country, said the prime minister was a “figurehead” whose language and behaviour had emboldened people to make racist remarks in public.
“If the top person can openly say this racist thing – the ‘piccaninnies’ remarks, ‘watermelon smiles’, comparing Muslim women to a letter box – if that is our figurehead, the top man, the leader we have to follow, and he openly says these things, he encourages hate among others,” he told the interviewer.
“Before, people had to hide their racism. If you felt something bad about about black people, about Muslims, you had to shut up. Now these people have the confidence to come out in public to say everything. This is scary to me, that scares the shit out of me.”
Responding to Morgan on Twitter, Stormzy wrote: “The kid asked me a question and I replied truthfully.
“Nothing wrong with that Piers lol.”