Were you offended by Will.i.am’s Blackface performance during Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards Pre-Show? According to the Black Eyed Peas frontman, you shouldn’t be.
The Black Eyed Peas star provoked a storm of criticism after he was photographed during one of music’s biggest nights sporting a tight black leather costume and blackface makeup smeared on his face.
Blackface — which first gained popularity during the 19th century — typically promotes racist stereotypes toward African Americans. Within hours, critics were lining up on Twitter.com to slam Will for his appearance alongside femcee Nicki Minaj, with many even accusing him of racism.
However, the rapper quickly lashed out at naysayers, insisting there are bigger problems in the world than “a Black man wearing all Black.”
Responding to criticisms on his own Twitter page, Will wrote: “1st. just because I where (sic) all black including head mask as expression and emphasize my outfit, it shouldn’t be looked at as racial… Let go of the past. There are far more important things 2 bark about. (Jobs, health, education) not a black man wearing all black everything.”
The rapper later added: “Are you guys serious? My outfit set ‘Black people back 100 yrs’ choose your twits wisely. No education sets people back, no jobs, bad health.”