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11th Oct 2021

Little Mix members have unfollowed Jesy Nelson

Sarah McKenna Barry

Jesy’s first solo music video dropped last week.

All three members of the girl group Little Mix have unfollowed former band member Jesy Nelson shortly after the release of her debut single Boyz.

The solo track is her first song since leaving the band in 2020 and it features cameos from Nicki Minaj and P Diddy. Since its release, however, the music video has attracted backlash, with some accusing Nelson of Blackfishing, which refers to white entertainers attempting to appear Black by darkening their skin and appropriating Black culture.

Many on social media believe that Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall unfollowed their former bandmate in relation to the Blackfishing claims.

Last week, Jesy herself addressed the allegations of cultural appropriation head on.

She told Vulture: “The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.

“I wasn’t on social media around that time, so I let my team [deal with it], because that was when I’d just left. But I mean like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know. It’s what I grew up in.”

She added: “I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman. I’ve never said that I wasn’t.”

Later, Jesy’s publicist issued a statement to Vulture on her behalf, addressing the Blackfishing allegations.

She said: “I take all those comments made seriously. I would never intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous, so that’s why I was initially shocked that the term was directed at me.”

Jesy left Little Mix in 2020, and has since said that she parted ways with the band to protect her own mental health.

In an interview with Australia’s The Project last week, Jesy said: “I had to leave for my own mental health, because I really just wasn’t in a good place.”