Just six months ago, Azealia Banks set the internet alight when she attacked former One Direction star Zayn Malik on Twitter. Banks’ Twitter account was suspended after she directed a series of racist and homophobic comments at Malik. It seems that 25-year-old Banks has learned a little humility as a result of the experience and she has now offered a “full and heartfelt” apology to Zayn.
As was reported in the Mirror at the time, Azealia seemed to be responding to a tweet made by Malik when she launched a tirade that would make a dock worker blush. Banks claimed that Malik was One Direction’s “token brown boy” and attacked his sexuality in a stream of expletive laden messages.
“Zayn Malik, dude, I make better music than you. Simmer down with that fake white boy rebellion and that wannabe Bieber swag. Lol u a b**tch n***a for even responding like that (sic).
“Keeping sucking this young rapunxel d**k u hairy curry scented b**ch. Imma start calling you punjab you dirty b***h. You a d**k rider for real. Ride this d**k until the wheels fall off Punjab (sic).
“You were the token brown boy. All those white boys in One Direction disrespected you and made you their pet. You were only apart of One Direction to draw brown attention. You are and always will be a token to the UK.”
As you might imagine Banks’ comments outraged One Direction fans, but Malik refused to be drawn into a public slanging match. Perhaps Malik had learned a lesson after his very public spat with former friend Naughty Boy on social media. It may have taken six months for Azealia to accept that she was in the wrong when she attacked Malik, but at least Azealia has now done the right thing. After all, how can Banks speak out about racism against African Americans if she is being racist and homophobic herself.
— Yahoo Celebrity UK (@YahooCelebUK) October 23, 2016
It is not known what caused Banks to issue a very public apology to Malik, but it came in the wake of another public fight. According to TMZ, Banks accused actor Russell Crowe of choking her, spitting on her, and using the N-word after she was ejected from a party.
Whatever the reason, Azealia used social media to issue a lengthy apology to Malik. The Daily Mail reports that Azealia used Instagram to reveal that “recent events have taught me the importance of taking accountability for ones actions.” Banks reaches out to explain her actions to Zayn and says that she hopes that Malik can “find room in your heart to accept my sincerest apologies.”
Banks praises Malik for “remaining a gentleman” and for “displaying class” through her transgressions. Azealia says that she made her apology public because she realized that she had hurt and offended many people with her attack on Zayn.
Azealia reveals that she mistook one of Malik’s twitter message as an attack on her and that this set her off on “a reckless and unacceptable rant.” Banks says that Malik’s refusal to engage in a Twitter fight had taught her that “not everything is about me and not everything is directed at me. Thank-you for teaching me this, it is a lesson that I desperately needed to learn.”
Of course, Banks and Malik were hardly the first celebrities to get involved in such a public slanging match. It is unusual to see a celebrity publicly admit their mistakes and try to learn from them. It may have taken six months, but Banks and Malik have displayed the kind of maturity that all users of the internet could learn a valuable lesson from.
The internet and social media have made the world a much smaller place. We have access to a huge amount of information and the means of connecting with others, but all too often this accessibility leads to deeply unpleasant exchanges.
As Zayn Malik knows all too well from his time in One Direction, comments and rumors take a life of their own on social media. Malik has had hurtful comments fired at him in the past, but on this occasion he chose to rise above it. Perhaps Malik has taught us that the best way to deal with a rant like Banks’ is to rise above it. We can all learn from Azealia too. It is never too late to admit you are wrong and to apologize.
Malik’s fans may not forgive Azealia Banks for her attack on Zayn, but at least she has attempted to make amends for her actions.
[Featured Images by John Salangsang/Rich Fury/Invision/AP]