Richard Kylea Cowie Jr., better known by his stage name ‘Wiley’, is a British rapper, songwriter, DJ and record producer from East London.
On July 24th, the rapper came under fire after posting a stream of vile, antisemitic tweets which included claims of connections between the Jewish community and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as repeated tropes about Jews and money.
“Jewish people don’t care what black went through they just use us to make money to feed their kids… for generations as well”, he wrote in another tweet.
Wiley also attacked Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state: “Israel is not yours” and “The Star of David that’s our ting … Some people have gotten too comfortable on lands that don’t belong to them.”
“Hold some corn Jewish community you deserve it…” another Wiley tweet read, a slang expression Twitter users allege was a threat to shoot Jews. This tweet and others led to the police paying the rapper a visit.
The following day, Wiley’s management team announced they were dropping him; shortly thereafter his manager Josh Wolf, who is Jewish, also cut ties with the now-disgraced rapper.
On Tuesday July 28, Facebook and Instagram permanently removed Wiley from their platforms followed by Twitter on July 29. After having his platforms removed, Wiley claimed he wasn’t racist in an interview with Sky News.
The permanent suspension of the rapper’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles has been widely welcomed. However, it is emblematic of the slowness of social media platforms to act on hateful abuse and many are asking why this took so long.
Time and time again, decisive action from social media sites over antisemitism comes only after comments have already reached thousands of users. Wiley’s case proves just how true this is. Only after a massive global ‘walkout’ campaign was organized by British Jews and their allies did the social media giants act.
Removing Wiley’s social media platforms isn’t enough; we must demand streaming services cease playing the antisemitic rapper’s music like YouTube did on August 5th, disabling his ability to profit from hate!
We need YOUR help to remove ‘Wiley’ from Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music