Before Jesy Nelson left Little Mix to go solo, bandmates Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, and Perrie Edwards revealed that they discussed blackfishing with her.
Following the release of her debut solo music video, “Boyz” featuring Nicki Minaj, Nelson was accused of blackfishing, or purposefully changing her appearance and style in order to appear Black or ethnically ambiguous.
In response to Nelson’s latest claims of blackfishing, Pinnock, 30, told The Telegraph’s Stella Magazine, “It is troublesome and hurtful to people of color to capitalize on characteristics of blackness without having to undergo the daily reality of the black experience. Harmful stereotypes are not acceptable in our opinion. There’s so much to say about that topic that it’s difficult to condense it into a sound bite.” “As a women band coming from a show like ‘The X Factor,’ it always felt like there was this point to continuously prove,” Thirlwall, 28, continued. She also stated that the group is cautious to speak on their alleged “feud” with Nelson.
Thirlwall remarked, “We don’t really want to dwell since we have so much to enjoy as a three.”
The three stated that they do not wish to discuss or critique Nelson’s “Boyz” music video, but did clarify that they addressed Nelson about blackfishing in a “really pleasant, instructive manner.”
They discussed it with Nelson before she announced her departure from the group in December 2020, according to Thirlwall.
Nelson was criticized by Black social media users after the release of her debut solo track “Boyz,” for supposedly darkening her skin darker and attempting to look biracial while singing about desiring a partner who’s “so hood, so good, so damn taboo” with “tattoos and them gold teeth.”
Nelson later appeared on Instagram Live with Minaj, who defended her against the blackfishing allegations, and said that her music video was never meant to harm anyone. She also said she didn’t acquire a fake tan and that her hair is naturally curly.
In an interview with Vulture, the 30-year-old British singer also stated that she never faced such reaction while she was still a member of the group. “I never got any of that during my time in Little Mix. And then I left [the band], and all of a sudden, people were saying, “She told the news organization.