Nicki Minaj takes heat for defending Jesy Nelson against ‘blackfishing’ accusations

Instagram users are accusing Minaj of tearing down a Black woman while defending someone white for trying to appear Black.

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Nicki Minaj is once again getting called out after the rapstress found herself trending on Twitter for defending Jesy Nelson, the former Little Mix singer accused of blackfishing in her music video for “Boyz,” on which Minaj guests.

Nelson, an ex-member of the popular British girl group, dropped her debut solo single on Friday. The song, “Boyz” features a verse from Minaj and samples Diddy’s “Bad Boys For Life.” With a video that features Nelson sporting a significant tan, singing about loving “hood” men and wearing grills, many fans started to call the singer out for blackfishing, something the singer was accused of back when she was in Little Mix.

Jesy Nelson and Nicki Minaj are shown in the official music video for Nelson’s solo debut, “Boyz.” (Photo: Screengrab via YouTube)

On Monday, Minaj and Nelson went on Instagram Live to celebrate the song’s release, but the conversation took a turn that led to the two trending on Twitter well into the evening. During the IG Live, when the blackfishing accusations came up, Nelson, while acknowledging her “intention was never ever to offend people of color,” she insists that she “grew up” on late ’90s hip-hop and R&B, has curly hair and simply tans easy.

This was when Minaj chimed in to defend her.

Minaj opined on Instagram that people have “gotta stop” with the blackfishing comments, before laying into Leigh-Anne Pinnock, a Black member of Little Mix.

Said Minaj: “Let her enjoy this time. If you was in this woman’s group and you ain’t talk about this s**t for 10 years, and as soon as you see she’s got a video coming out with Nicki Minaj … Stop. If you want a solo career, baby girl, just say that. You can go out and put your own music. We’re gonna support you and love you. That’s it. You don’t have to attack someone else. If that’s how you felt, why were you kiki’ing with her and being in the videos with her for 10 years?” 

The Instagram Live session was recorded and immediately uploaded to social media, with many calling out Minaj for tearing down a Black woman while defending a white woman for allegedly blackfishing. British TV presenter Charlene White wrote in a tweet: “*That* IG live is just… wow. Hugely embarrassing.”

Other fans wrote that Minaj was “tanking” Nelson’s career before it has even started with the puzzling session, while others seemed to call out Nelson’s hypocrisy, as she has been a vocal advocate for mental health and the fight against bullying, yet stood by while Minaj bashed Pinnock in front of thousands.

The BRIT Awards 2019 - Winners Room
In this Feb. 2019 photo, (from left) Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix are shown in the winners’ room during The BRIT Awards in London. (Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

One user wrote, “Jesy Nelson made an entire documentary on BBC about being kind and trolling online, but just sat and laughed as Nicki Minaj slated Leigh-Anne Pinnock to 100k viewers on a live. That just does not sit right with me.”

The controversy did not stop on Instagram, however. Minaj continued to defend Nelson and slam the other Little Mix members — specifically Pinnock — in tweets that also gained significant backlash. She wrote on Monday evening, “JeLeigh btchs actin real messy. ~ if you know someone has been suicidal from bullying in the past, why try to get a bunch of ppl to bully them again about smthng else, on an even bigger scale? Shame on you— that’s rlly sad. You don’t know what ppl can deal with…Mental Health.”

Fans then responded directly to Minaj to call her out.

One user wrote in a response to the rapper, “You acting like Leigh wasn’t being discriminated for just being a black girl in a world where U KNOW black womens needs to work twice to get half, go off.”

Another continued to address the confusing nature of Minaj’s stance, noting, “We are witnessing Nicki Minaj, a black woman, bullying Leigh, black woman, for calling out Jesy, a WHITE woman, for blackfishing? So nicki can sell her culture & shade a black woman wrongly just for a cheque?”

Pinnock and the other two members of Little Mix, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards, have yet to comment about Nelson or Minaj’s IG Live.

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