Little Mix Speak Out About Alleged Jesy Nelson Fall-Out And Blackfishing Controversy

Jade Thirlwall has confirmed reports that the band spoke to Jesy on the topic of Blackfishing before she quit.
Little Mix pictured in April
Little Mix pictured in April

Little Mix have spoken out for the first time about their fall-out with former bandmate Jesy Nelson, and the Blackfishing controversy that has surrounded her new solo career.

Jesy released her first solo single Boyz in October, with many voicing their discomfort with the track’s lyrics and accompanying music video immediately after its release, particularly with reference to Jesy’s skin tone and aesthetic, leading to accusations of Blackfishing.

After reports claimed Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade had all unfollowed Jesy on social media amid the controversy, unverified leaked DMs from Leigh-Anne to a TikTok user suggested that Jesy had, in fact, had blocked the trio.

The alleged messages have not been verified, and Leigh-Anne has not commented on the directly matter, but they did end up forming a major part of the conversation during an ill-fated Instagram live-stream Jesy did with Nicki Minaj, in which the rapper branded Leigh-Anne a “fucking clown” and accused her of being “jealous” of Jesy.

Jesy Nelson pictured earlier this week during a run of press interviews
Jesy Nelson pictured earlier this week during a run of press interviews
Joe Maher via Getty Images

During a new interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Little Mix admitted they “don’t really want to dwell” on the supposed fall-out “because we have so much to celebrate as a three”.

“We’ve dealt with it in the best way that we know how, and got each other through it,” Jade noted.

She added that she didn’t want to comment on the Boyz music video “or be critical”, but the band did speak out on the subject of Blackfishing, confirming reports they spoke with Jesy about it before her departure from the band.

“One thing we will clarify regarding the blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner,” Jade said.

Jesy pictured with her Little Mix bandmates
Jesy pictured with her Little Mix bandmates
David M. Benett via Getty Images

More generally on the topic of Blackfishing, she said earlier in the interview: “Capitalising on aspects of Blackness without having to endure the daily realities of the Black experience is problematic and harmful to people of colour.

“We think it’s absolutely not OK to use harmful stereotypes. There’s so much to say on that subject that it’s hard to sum up in a sound bite.”

During an appearance on Graham Norton’s BBC talk show last week, Jesy confirmed that she and the trio “are not talking anymore”.

“It is sad but honestly there is no bad blood from my side,” she insisted. “I still love them to pieces and genuinely wish them all the best.

“I loved my time with them, and we’ve got the most incredible memories together… it’s just one of those things which needs to take time, so who knows.”


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