Azealia Banks throws a tantrum on a plane, hurls an anti-gay slur, then defends herself
Azealia Banks lost her, um, temper early Tuesday at LAX while exiting a New York-to-L.A. flight, including a profane, anti-gay slur as part of her first-class tantrum.
She countered the images on the video later in the day, tweeting, “I am bisexual. my brother is trans. My employees are all gay men. . Nothing else to say.”
Part of the incident can be seen on video taken by another passenger and obtained by TMZ, which has a description of events leading up the rapper-singer-songwriter hurling the same slur that notoriously earned Kobe Bryant a $100,000 fine when he yelled it at an NBA referee back in 2011.
The flight arrived in Los Angeles around 1 a.m., or 4 a.m. New York time, so -- cranky time. Banks reportedly zoomed for the door from the sixth row but was held up at the third row by a French couple who were getting luggage from the overhead bin. She tried to squeeze by, TMZ’s witness said, but the guy put his hand out to stop her. Apparently, the 24-year-old was having none of that: The eyewitness alleged that Banks got into it with the guy, hitting him and grabbing at his shirt.
She can be seen on the video screaming at the man during what appears to be a tug-of-war with the man over her luggage, and a flight attendant arrives to help sort things out. Banks shouts an explanation at the attendant, saying the man had raised his hand at her and pushed her to let another woman through, and adding, “I’m trying to go home. Give me my bag.”
That’s when she lets the slur fly. It’s unclear whether she was aiming it at the attendant or the man she was fighting with in the aisle.
Anyway, it reportedly took the help of the copilot and eventually the police to sort it all out, with the rapper allegedly running out of the jet after the copilot told her authorities had been called. Though police caught up to her at baggage claim, the couple decided not to bother pursuing charges while they were on vacation.
“Ok so I get hit in the face by a man and no one cares. The only hear what I called the man who was blocking my exit,” she said in a tweet that was caught in a screen grab by the New York Daily News before it was deleted.
TMZ’s witness said the French man only put up his hand, gesturing her to stop, and did not hit her. On Twitter, Banks’ fans zealously defended her, with some saying the incident was about violence against black women, not homophobia.
The performer explained back in February that she uses the anti-gay F-word “from a feminist point of view.”
“The word ... came to me from my mother,” she said in an interview with QutQ’s Xorje Olivares on Sirius XM (via Jezebel). “And it was never a thing about a guy being gay. It was always just a man who hates women.
Around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Banks treated the incident a bit more light-heartedly on Twitter, joking to a friend that she couldn’t hang out with him anymore because they’d both been “caught” in situations by the media twice in a week. She also retweeted a post about her being nice to her fans and kissing a transgender fan on the forehead.
Banks was in the recording studio before her Delta flight, according to a post on her Instagram page.
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