“He Basically Called Me A Monkey”: John Legend On Recent Run-In With Racist Photog

January 23, 2017  |  

John Legend

Last week, Chrissy Teigen tweeted about a less than pleasant encounter with a photographer at John F. Kennedy airport in NYC. While walking around the airport with husband John Legend, being addressed by paparazzi, one in particular made an incredibly inflammatory comment about the musician:

While Teigen said they didn’t feed the troll by responding at the time, Legend has since opened up about the incident to Variety. While speaking about Season 2 of Underground, which Legend will appear on as Frederick Douglass and which he is an executive producer of, Legend said the comment was shocking but definitely not surprising.

“We were right next to each other and we looked at each other like, ‘Did he really just say that?’ And he really said it. He basically called me a monkey,” Legend said.

“Black folks have had to deal with being called monkeys for a long time and dehumanization has always been kind of a method of racism and subjugation of Black people and that’s just part of American history — and it’s part of the present, apparently.”

Legend pointed out the many times detractors tried to call former President Obama and Michelle monkeys, something that we also pointed out was happening more and more as Obama’s term came to an end.

“We saw it with the former president, Obama, whenever people wanted to discount him or discount his wife, they compared them to apes,” he said. “And we’ve seen that frequently. I’m not hurt by someone saying that to me because I’m smarter, I’m stronger. I look down on that person that would say something like that. But it’s a shame that that still exists.”

Check out Legend’s comments below:

Images via WENN

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