Music festival urged to drop ‘unrepentant antisemite’ Wiley

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Music festival urged to drop ‘unrepentant antisemite’ Wiley

New World Fest will host the disgraced grime artist on Saturday, a year after he was banned from social media for hateful posts about Jews

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Wiley (Credit Image: © RMV via ZUMA Press)
Wiley (Credit Image: © RMV via ZUMA Press)

A music festival in Essex is being urged to drop “unrepentant antisemite” Wiley from its line-up this weekend.

The musician is due appear at Chelmsford’s New World Fest on Saturday, despite causing uproar  last year with a series of antisemitic tweets.

His posts led to him being banned from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram, in addition to him being dropped by his record label and manager.

Wiley, whose real name is Richard Cowie, engaged in days of online antisemitism last year, in which he accused Jewish people of being “racist” and “cowards”, and asked if it’s antisemitic “to say Jewish people have power”.

In another tweet he said: “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in any way of course you will get fired”.

After being banned by Twitter and reported to the police he took to Facebook, writing: “Who called the police? Are you from Golders Green? I am coming to sit down with you in Golders Green…”

Wiley on the bill

Calling on New World Fest to drop Wiley from the bill, a spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is extraordinary that a festival would think it appropriate to try to rehabilitate an unrepentant antisemite on its stage.

“One wonders whether a musician who had targeted another minority would have been feted in this way.

“The festival must drop Wiley and explain how this racist came to be invited in the first place, especially as prosecutors consider our case against him.”

Social media sites were criticised for not taking swift action on his posts, which led to a 48-hour boycott of Twitter. After, communal leaders met officials at major firms in a bid to better tackle online antisemitism.

The police later dropped its investigation after it became apparent he had been outside the UK’s jurisdiction at the time of sending them. Campaign Against Antisemitism said it was pursuing the case “abroad”.

His tirade began on Twitter amid an apparent feud with his former manager, John Woolf, who is Jewish. Woolf later announced he had “cut all ties” with the musician.

New World Fest has been approached for comment.

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