The members of Little Mix are breaking their silence on former bandmate Jesy Nelson and her recent Blackfishing scandal.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Jade Thirwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Perrie Edwards claimed that they had actually approached Nelson about Blackfishing in a “friendly, educational manner” while she was in the group.
Pinnock said: "Capitalising on aspects of Blackness without having to endure the daily realities of the Black experience is problematic and harmful to people of colour.”
She added, “We think it's absolutely not okay to use harmful stereotypes. There's so much to say on that subject that it's hard to sum up in a sound bite."
Nelson has been making headlines recently after being accused of ‘Blackfishing’ — a term used to define a non-Black person who alters their facial features or uses self-tanner to appear as Black or racially ambiguous for social or financial gain. Many believe Nelson mimicked the aesthetics of Black culture in her new music video “Boyz.”
Despite the media frenzy, Thirwall admitted that the band doesn’t "really want to dwell" on Nelson’s controversy and is instead focused on celebrating their own current achievements.
"We don't want to talk about the video, or be critical, but one thing we will clarify regarding the Blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner," said Thirwall.
When asked about Blackfishing in a past interview with Vulture, Nelson said, “The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.”
She continued: "I wasn't on social media around that time, so I let my team [deal with it], because that was when I'd just left. But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That's all I know; it's what I grew up on."