In Brief

Stormzy criticises media for misrepresenting comments on racism

Grime legend accuses outlets of ‘intentionally spinning’ his words

Stormzy has accused the media of “intentionally spinning my words for some click bait” after a remark he made about racism in the UK was significantly misrepresented by various publications.

During an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica last week, the rapper was asked if Britain was still racist, to which he replied: “definitely, 100%”.

Over the weekend, this quote was represented in headlines and articles by ITV, the Daily Mail, The Sun and The Independent to imply that the grime artist had said the UK was 100% racist, rather than that he 100% believed there was racism in the country.

In a frank tweet yesterday, Stormzy said: “All you publications and media outlets that are intentionally spinning my words for some click bait can suck my dick and please don’t try beg it in the future.” 

The Sun’s headline read: “Stormzy claims UK is ‘definitely 100% racist’” while the Daily Mail’s coverage included the claim that “The grime artist said the country was ‘definitely, 100% racist’”.

ITV, another outlet which was criticised for its handling of the story, subsequently apologised, admitting that while it had included Stormzy’s full response to the question on their website, its own headline and tweet misrepresented what he had said.

During the original interview, Stormzy had also claimed that racism has got worse under Boris Johnson, arguing that the prime minister was a “figurehead” whose words and actions had made it more respectable to say racist things in British society.

He said: “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.”

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