Jesy Nelson Faces ‘Blackfishing’ Criticism

Nelson as she appears in her music video, Boyz.

Jesy Nelson has faced social media accusations of blackfishing following the release of the video for her debut single Boyz, featuring Nicki Minaj and with a cameo by P Diddy.

Blackfishing — the practice of a non-black person trying to appear black — a word used to accuse someone of pretending to be black or mixed-race.

The former Little Mix star’s new single, “Boyz”, which samples Diddy’s song Bad Boy for Life is her first solo release since leaving Little Mix last year.

What is her Response?

Jesy Nelson has come out to publicly addressed accusations over her latest music video with US rapper Nicki Minaj.

The two went on Instagram live to promote the single.

Jesy Nelson said she never wanted to hurt anyone after she was accused of blackfishing in her debut solo music video, “Boyz.”

“I personally want to say that my intention was never, ever to offend people of color with this video and my song because like I said, growing up as a young girl, this is the music that I listened to,” Nelson told Minaj during an Instagram Live on Monday.

“These are the videos that I watched and thought were the best,” she continued and said. “For me personally, ’90s R&B were the best years in music. I just wanted to celebrate that.”

However Micky Minaj also hit out at the star’s former Little Mix bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock about the issue.

She said “Y’all gotta stop.”

She added on Twitter: “If you know someone has been suicidal from bullying in the past, why try to get a bunch of people to bully them again about something else?”

In the music video, Jesy Nelson is heavily tanned and her hair is styled with wigs and braids. She wears basketball shorts and gold teeth, and sings about wanting a boy who’s “so hood, so good, so damn taboo”.

“I’m just really lucky as a white girl that when I’m in the sun, I tan so dark. Like, so many people have said to me before, like Leigh-Anne Pinnock in the group, has said, ‘You sure you’re, like, not mixed race? Because you’ve gotten darker than me in the sun. That’s crazy,’” Jesy Nelson asserted, referring to her former bandmate.

“I wanted to come on this live today as well and show everyone my hair is naturally curly. I’ve always had curly hair. I got it from my dad.”

She continued, “I genuinely didn’t think I was doing anything wrong because I’ve got naturally curly hair.”

“When I was in the video with [Nicki], I didn’t even have any fake tan on. I’d been in Antigua prior to that for three weeks.

“I’m just really lucky that as a white girl, when I’m in the sun I tan so dark.”

After nine years in the Little Mix, Jesy Nelson announced her departure from the hugely successful girl group in December 2020 who have sold more than 50 million records worldwide.

And she blamed the toll that being in the band and being compared with the other girls had taken on her mental health.

Before she departed the group, she confidently revealed in 2019 she had mental health issues.