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October 4, 2021 12:28 pm
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Nightclub Moves Forward With Concert by British Rapper With Antisemitic Past Despite Backlash

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Rapper Wiley arrives for the Brit Awards, at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, Feb. 22, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Neil Hall.

A nightclub in the United Kingdom proceeded with its scheduled performance by British rapper Wiley on Saturday, ignoring calls to cancel the concert because of the artist’s antisemitic and anti-Israel remarks last year.

Wiley, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie, performed at the Switch nightclub in Preston as part of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLAN) Preston Freshers 2021 line-up of events. Video footage shared online shows the rapper performing on stage on Saturday to a packed room.

In 2020, the “Boasty” singer went on an antisemitic rant online that spanned the course of a few days, during which he described Jews as “cowards” and “snakes,” and told “black people” to go to “war” with Jewish people. He also promoted the false conspiracy theory that Jews were responsible for the slave trade.

After critics engaged in a 48-hour boycott of Twitter and Instagram to protest failure by the social media giants to take action against Wiley, the rapper was banned from various online platforms and let go by his record label and manager. He has since been able to open new accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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The UK’s Union of Jewish Students (UJS), UCLAN’s Student Union and the National Union of Students last week called on Switch to cancel the concert, but to no avail.

“It is appalling that Switch Preston decided to go ahead with this event, despite outrage from Jewish students over Wiley’s previous antisemitic comments,” the UJS said Monday on Twitter. “The club were fully aware of Wiley’s antisemitic conduct, yet arrogantly decided to host this event regardless.”

The performance also took place despite an arrest warrant for Wiley that was issued after he failed to appear in court in connection to assault charges, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

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