Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@Jesynelson/@emilyatack
Jesy Nelson has joked that she'd "turn lesbian" for the comedian and actress Emily Atack in a video shared to Atack's Instagram account.
The pair were out following the release of Jesy's single 'Boyz'. The pair have been friends for a number of years with The Inbetweeners star Atack interviewing Nelson ahead of the release of her BBC Three documentary Odd One Out.
In the wake of her single, Jesy has had to defend herself against criticism of 'Blackfishing', a term meaning the appropriation of elements of Black culture and styling.
"I'm not even joking"
In the short video posted to Atack's Instagram Stories, the pair can be seen cuddling. Atack refers to Nelson as her "little Barbie". Nelson then says: "I would turn lesbian for this lady - I'm not even joking."
Nelson is facing a strong backlash against her debut single and video for 'Boyz', with many accusing her of appropriating Black culture. Responding to these pre-existing claims of Blackfishing in a recently published interview with Vulture, Nelson said: "I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t."
She also said: "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 love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on."
She was also asked in the interview about comments from users on social media accusing her of Blackfishing being deleted, to which she replied it could have been someone on her team. This was subsequently confirmed to Vulture after the interview by Jesy's management team. Nelson refused to answer further questions on the topic.
The controversy has since developed following leaked messages, supposedly from Jesy's former Little Mix bandmember Leigh Anne-Pinnock, who called Nelson a "horrible person".
In an Instagram Live on Monday (11 October) Jesy and her 'Boyz' collaborator Nicki Minaj seemed to laugh at Leigh-Anne with Nicki labelling her as "jealous".
This upset fans with one person tweeting: "Jesy Nelson made an entire documentary on BBC about being kind and trolling online, but just sat and laughed as Nicki Minaj slated Leigh-Anne Pinnock to 100k viewers on a live. That just does not sit right with me."
Jesy Nelson made an entire documentary on BBC about being kind and trolling online, but just sat and laughed as Nicki Minaj slated Leigh-Anne Pinnock to 100k viewers on a live. That just does not sit right with me.— Darren (@RealityDazzle) October 11, 2021
The Attitude Awards issue is out now.