Stormzy has called out the UK press after his words from a recent interview were taken out of context.
In a recent interview with Italian publication La Repubblica, Stormzy was asked if Britain was a racist country, the rapper replied, “definitely, 100 per cent”. The quote quickly went viral under the false pretence that the rapper claimed Britain is 100 per cent racist, rather than that he believes racism 100 per cent exists in Britain. Stormzy has now said that the UK media have been “intentionally spinning my words for some click bait.”
The journalist who wrote the interview also clarified the misunderstanding, by tweeting out the transcript. It shows that the quote was in response to the question "Is Britain still racist today?" and was taken out of context on the wider discussion surrounding racism in the UK.
In the interview Stormzy expressed his view that racism in Britain is more covert than in countries such as Italy: "People are like, 'Oh no, we're not racist.' But in reality, there's still a lot of racism in our country. The difference is that, in Italy, it's pretty evident, while it's extremely difficult to try to explain that Great Britain is racist, too. Many people say, 'It's not true, Stormzy is successful,' or 'London has a lot of black people.'"
According to Stormzy, things have gotten worse following Boris Johnson's election. "Before, people had to hide their racism. If you felt something bad about black people, about Muslims, you had to shut up. Now, these people have the confidence to come out in public to say everything. This is scary to me, that scares the shit out of me,” he says.
Following the interview, Stormzy swiftly faced backlash. Katie Hopkins responded to Stormzy, telling him to “quit crying racism” and calling him a “bellend”. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid in turn called called Stormzy "100% wrong" and claimed that Britain is "the most successful multiracial democracy in the world."
However, now fans are rallying behind behind the rapper under the hashtag "#istandwithstormzy."