Voice removes Wiley interview but defends decision to publish

Journalist had asked in article whether antisemitic rapper had made any ‘salient points’


British black newspaper The Voice has defended its decision to publish a controversial interview with antisemitic rapper Wiley in which the journalist faced criticism for not challenging some of the musician’s views.

The publication issued a statement on Friday saying it “saddens us deeply that persons have implied that we are antisemitic”.

But it refused to accept criticism over the tone of the article, saying: “As a black media outlet, we are here to give our people a voice.  That doesn’t mean we will always agree with everything that is published.”

Despite its failure to apologise, The Voice has now removed the article from its site.

It said: “The Voice has not, and makes it clear again, supported or in any way condoned the outbursts by Wiley that the Jewish community finds offensive. We do not support the stereotyping of any race or group.”

The online news outlet said it was now “in conversation with Jewish leaders and have given them the right of reply”.

The JC understands that representatives from the Board of Deputies are among those involved in talks.

The statement added: “Going forward, our different communities must come together, talk more and show the solidarity that binds us together rather than pits one against the other.   

“The Voice will remain a champion of that and will continue to work with various groups in this regard.”

In the article published on Wednesday night, which bore the headline 'Systematic oppression and Wiley', the Grime artist repeated antisemitic slurs around Jewish wealth and power - and at one stage suggested: “They see us a slaves.”

But instead of challenging the 41-year-old artist, who has now been banned from Twitter and Facebook over his racist views, journalist Joel Campbell - arts and entertainment editor of The Voice - asked: "Within his ranting were there any salient points?"

Mr Campbell then suggested Wiley was "not alone in his thinking, that there is an unspoken systemic oppression that blights the lives of young black creatives in the entertainment space".

Later in the article, Mr Campbell wrote: "There is no way to put this all in one nutshell but the hypothesis that you need to get a Jewish lawyer in order to progress in the music business may be a complete fallacy (I haven’t done the numbers, looking into the correlation in respect of who is and isn’t successful with or without one), but yet it remains.

"I’ve never seen anyone Jewish refute or confirm this (maybe there was never a need felt to do so), but maybe, it’s a discussion that needs to be had?”

At one stage in the interview Wiley suggested: "Slavery hasn’t stopped it’s just dressed up in a million pound record deal.”





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