The Voice UK coach spoke out amid allegations of sexual abuse made in the documentary Leaving Neverland, equating the use of Jackson’s songs to buying from a German firm he said made chemicals “to kill all the Jews”.
He also suggested allegations against Jackson are part of a “smear campaign” and “just the black artists” are targeted.
Will.i.am – who was the last person to work with Jackson before his death – has claimed the recent accusations of child sexual abuse levelled at the singer are financially motivated but said he is “torn” by the testimonials of Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
Speaking of playing the music of an alleged abuser, Will.i.am said he can think of a “thousand” worse crimes that are tolerated without reparations being sought.
He said: “We live in a very, very, very, very hypocritical, double-standard, fake society.
“I can name a thousand other products that we still buy, still use, that are owned by folks that have done the most horrendous things to people, millions of them, and we don’t take their products from the market.”
Referring to a German company he said “made the chemicals to kill all the Jews”, Will.i.am added: “You’re not talking about real s*** and yet you want to flex on a song?
“[They] are really responsible for chemicals that killed millions of people but they’re headache medicine now.
“Are you going to ridicule them for their past? Are there reparations that need to be done for that?”
He added: “Imagine every country that ever had slaves, people said never travel to those countries because of what they’ve done in the past.
“Are you not supposed to do anything with anyone who ever did anything ill in the past?
“England, Spain, Portugal. That’s not that long ago. Are there reparations for everyone who’s done something ill?
“I could name a thousand more ills that are worse but we’re going to pull songs?”
Speaking at Elstree Studios ahead of The Voice semi-final, Will.i.am suggested that only black artists are targeted by smears, despite the conduct of “a lot of other folks”.
Defending the “big-hearted” Jackson, he said: “I don’t know what to trust or believe, when I don’t know who’s behind it.
“I’m torn, because that’s not the Michael Jackson I loved and will always love.
“It is a smear campaign, there’s been a number of smear campaigns in the past. If he did it, it’s sad and inhumane. If he didn’t, what’s happening is sad, and inhumane.
“And for somebody that knows him, you’re torn. You have the doc. Your heart wants to believe them but they’re on record lying so how am I supposed to trust that?”
Will.i.am said he wanted to release his duet work with Jackson when the situation was “healthy” and would not release music opportunistically when the singer was making headlines.
The live semi-final of The Voice will air on ITV at 8pm on Saturday 30 March.
IG Farben, a German conglomerate, utilised slave labour during the Holocaust and had what the Associated Press has described as a “decisive share” in a company that manufactured Zyklon B gas.
In 1995, Helge Wehmeier, then the head of Bayer Corp, apologised for the conglomerate’s actions to Nobel Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in a public address.
“I have sorrow and regret and apologise for the inhumanity in my country and for what IG Farben did to your people,” Wehmeier said.
Additional reporting by agencies
Credit: Source link