UK grime artiste and rapper, Stormzy, has hit back at the British press for “intentionally” misquoting his assessment of racism in the UK so as to attract numbers.
Stormzy, had been interviewed in Italy by the newspaper La Repubblica last week and was asked if there was racism in today’s UK society. He responded, “100 percent, definitely”.
The rapper juxtaposed anti-black racism in Italy and the UK and said while the racism in the former is overt, in the UK it was “hidden”. He, however, feared that with the election of Boris Johnson, racist sentiments are becoming a bit more explicit.
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But in reporting on the interview, a number of news platforms in the UK ran with headlines that misportrayed Stormzy’s assessment.
The Daily Mail went with “Stormzy claims the UK is ‘definitely racist'”, while LBC ran with “Stormzy says he believes Britain is “100 per cent” a racist country”.
The Sun‘s headline was “Stormzy launches Twitter tirade after reports he said Britain was ‘100% racist”.
But the rapper pushed back on Twitter, forcing some of the outlets, including ITV, to issue clarification and apologize for any “misunderstanding”.
ITV posted on its website “… it was felt the headline at the top of this story on our website and Twitter post did not reflect these comments fully and was therefore amended … We would like to apologise to Stormzy for any misunderstanding.”
In spite of the acknowledgment by the news media of mistakes in reportage, Stormzy’s assessment of racism did not go down well with many in the British public, especially in right-wing politics.
Conservative analyst David Vance tweeted suggesting Stormzy “show respect and gratitude to the British people” for how far the rapper has come since he was birthed in London by Ghanaian parents.