Former X Factor judge Tulisa has left fans bemused after she hit back at accusations of racism from former contestant Misha B by revealing her father “grew up in Africa”.
Misha B posted a powerful message on Instagram over the weekend, accusing the show and judges of racial bias in relation to a 2011 clip which resurfaced, showing Tulisa and fellow judge Louis Walsh criticising the contestant for being “too confident” and implying she was bullying others, which Misha denies.
In response, Tulisa has now shared her own video alleging that Misha behaved unacceptably during her time on the show. She also bizarrely decided to reveal that her father lived in Congo and Ethiopia during his early years.
The singer popped over to Instagram Live on Tuesday morning to say: “I do not have a racist bone in my body.”.
Tulisa went on to say that after her acts alleged that Misha had made them cry, she decided to confront Misha live on air with herself and Louis Walsh calling her “overconfident” and “over competitive”.
She said in her video:
I was protecting my acts and if somebody does some nasty stuff – whether it's on that show or not, I'm gonna call her out on it. I didn't wake up that day and think I'm gonna call Misha out because of the colour of her skin…
She did some things that I felt I needed to pull her up one. They were real and happening. I was dealing with crying contestants. I'm sure she's not the same person. This was 10 years ago. Same as I'm not the same person who would call her out the way I did. I was a very feisty 22-year-old…
I didn't think of emotional consequences but I can tell you race wasn't in the equation. It had nothing to do with race. These accusations are ludicrous.
I owe my life to black people and black culture. From my career, to the music I make, to my very being, who I am as a person. I was the only white person in my friendship group, my father was raised in the Congo till he was 16.
“I'm very passionate about Black Lives Matter and when I spoke to my friend about what I should do they told me to get educated and that's what I'm going to do before I speak out. I hope this movement can put an end to the centuries of oppression, abuse of racism and the corrupt system we are part of. Please believe me when I tell you that I do not have a racist bone in my body.”
Tulisa is going to pains to tell us has black friends, so perhaps she should have shown them the video before posting it, because it hasn’t gone down well.
Many flocked to Twitter to say they were… let’s say confused over Tulisa mentioning her father’s upbringing, and branding it “I’m not a racist” bingo"
Tulisa’s comments come after Misha, who was just 19 when she appeared on X Factor, shared a clip on her Instagram page and posted a clip of one of her tense moments with the then-judge.
Misha said: “They saw an opportunity to tear down a black girl that came from a broken home and worked together to assassinate my character and to sabotage my career by orchestrating lies.”
The clip shows Tulisa telling Misha to "put aside the attitude".
It quickly went viral, and people saw the scene in a whole new light, pointing out the implicit racial undertones to the whole thing.
It comes in the midst of a revival of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has not only seen protests around the world, but also a number of people calling out racist behaviour which had previously gone unchecked.