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Wiley Stripped Of MBE Following Previous Antisemitic Comments
Christian Eede , February 26th, 2024 14:40

The grime artist made the comments via social media in the summer of 2020, almost three years after he was honoured by the British Government

Wiley has been stripped of his MBE for services to music, almost four years after he shared a number of antisemitic posts via social media.

The UK artist, widely known as the "Godfather of grime", was honoured by the British Government in 2017, but shared a series of antisemitic posts on Twitter (now X) and Instagram in the summer of 2020, causing him to be banned from both social media platforms.

The artist, real name Richard Cowie, had likened Jewish people to the Ku Klux Klan in one of his posts, and also advanced antisemitic tropes suggesting that Jewish people were in control of global finances and the entertainment industry. The posts led to major pushback at the time, and the artist was also dropped by his management company, A-List Management, as a result.

In an interview with Sky News, Wiley later apologised for "generalising", adding: "My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologise for generalising, and I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as antisemitic."

He also went on to suggest that his comments were the result of a dispute "between me and my manager".

A number of figures, including organisations such as Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), called upon the UK Government's Cabinet Office to strip Cowie of his MBE in the wake of the comments, and it was revealed that his honour was "under review" in August 2020.

Late last week, he was formally stripped of the title for "bringing the honours system into disrepute". The announcement was made on the Cabinet Office website.