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Wiley Stripped of MBE After Antisemitic Social Media Posts

The grime pioneer sparked outrage with a series of offensive comments in 2020 and 2021.

Source: MEGA

The grime artist was awarded the MBE in 2017.

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British grime artist Wiley was formally stripped of his MBE honor today, following numerous antisemitic comments he made on social media four years ago, as well as an assault and burglary charge in 2021. The decision was made by the Honours Forfeiture Committee, which announced the decision on Feb. 24.

Known as the “godfather of grime,” the London-born Wiley had received the Member of the Order of the British Empire honor in 2017. In 2020, he ignited a firestorm of controversy when he posted a series of social media messages comparing Jewish people to the Ku Klux Klan, among other hateful and conspiratorial remarks. He was suspended from Twitter and Instagram, and later apologized for the statements, claiming he had been frustrated with his then-manager, who is Jewish (and promptly quit managing him), and that his “comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people.” Though he soon returned to Twitter, in 2021 he was banned again for yet another antisemitic tirade.

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Source: MEGA

Wiley sparked outrage with antisemitic social media posts in 2020 and 2021.

Also that year, Wiley was charged with assault and burglary after allegedly breaking into the apartment of kickboxer Ali Jacko, destroying some of his belongings, and attacking him.

Wiley offered to hand back his MBE honor at the time of the initial antisemitism controversy, saying in an interview: “I never wanted it. Take it back. Listen to this I just told you, I never had an MBE.”

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Source: MEGA

Wiley conducting an interview in 2005.

Britain’s Campaign Against Antisemitism organization, which lead calls to strip Wiley of the honor starting in 2020, as well as organizing campaigns to have him dropped from various concert venues, released a statement on the move:

“Today’s decision marks the culmination of nearly four years of dogged perseverance. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that Wiley faces ruinous consequences for his unhinged antisemitic tirade, for which he has shown no remorse.

“Antisemitism has no place in the arts, and is unbecoming of anyone holding an honour. We commend the Honours Forfeiture Committee for using its powers to hold Wiley to account. In doing so, it is declaring that anti-Jewish racists cannot be role models in our society.

“Due to technical reasons, including legal action that we are pursuing against Wiley, the forfeiture was delayed. We are grateful to the Honours Forfeiture Committee for its work on this matter.”

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Releasing his debut, Treddin’ on Thin Ice, in 2004, Wiley had his greatest commercial success with 2017’s Godfather, which reached No. 9 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart. He had a No. 1 single in 2012 with “Heatwave,” also charting in the top 10 with 2008’s “Wearing My Rolex,” 2010’s “Never Be Your Woman” and 2013’s “Lights On.”


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