Singer Jason Derulo has seemingly angered an entire country with a single remark made at the ANN7 South African Of The Year Awards Saturday night: “Y’all speak English, right,” said Derulo to the crowd.
Those in attendance quickly took to Twitter lashing out against Derulo for the remark, which many considered to be disrespectful, Huffington Post UK reports.
@NomzamoMbatha total disrespect, what does he think we speak, mambojambo? O re telletse kannete....— tshepo (@tshepomotse) October 17, 2015
The South African of the year awards were dope, but I left as soon as Jason Derulo asked if we can speak English!! ✋— AfricanRapQueen (@Nadia_nakai) October 17, 2015
Soon after, Derulo, who was the headlining act at the awards show, tweeted out a response to defend his remark, saying he was speaking to a specific table and it was a figure of speech.
"Speaking English" remark I made, was directed to a specific table. It wasn't literal, just a figure of speech when someone isn't responding— Jason Derulo (@jasonderulo) October 17, 2015
However, no one seemed impressed with his defense, and the backlash has only grown. Some responded directly to Derulo’s post saying that he didn’t actually apologize and that his remark was not a figure of speech.
@jasonderulo "Ya'll speak English" is NOT a figure of speech. It's a direct question. Do YOU speak English? FOH— SnapChat:MissZeeYako (@MissZeeYako) October 17, 2015
Others attacked Derulo’s music, saying no one was responding simply because he wasn’t very good.
The incident in South Africa is only the latest in a string of seemingly bad decisions the singer has recently made.
Late last month, Jason was cited by police for an out-of-control pool party thrown at his Beverly Hills home. According to TMZ, officers had to come Derulo’s house three times after neighbors complained that the noise was intolerable and that there were roughly 200 cars clogging traffic.
In August, Derulo and his entourage were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight after a verbal altercation took place between Derulo, his bodyguard, and a Southwest employee.
“His team requested an escort and were denied and they believed they were being treated unfairly,” a source told People. “When they voiced their concerns to the airline they were told they could not fly and proceeded on the plane anyway. At that point the Southwest agent called the authorities and removed them.”
According to a Southwest Airlines spokesperson, Derulo and his crew were removed because they refused to follow standard boarding procedures.
“Initial reports indicate that several customers complained about the group’s behavior. Our crew, responsible for the Safety and comfort of all customers on board, attempted to diffuse the situation; ultimately, local authorities were called and the decision was made to deny boarding to the group.”
According to the Southwest spokesperson, Jason himself was not kicked off the flight and was still permitted to fly, but the singer decided not to leave without his crew and instead chartered a private jet.
From that jet, which People‘s source says Derulo paid for “out of his own pocket,” Jason recorded an Instagram video telling his view of the situation.
“I had to fire my travel agent for booking me somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be,” Derulo said. “But now we’re here, we’re good.”
In the background you see another passenger, presumably the bodyguard who was kicked off the Southwest plane, who says “They can’t kick me off of this!”
[Photo Courtesy of Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images for Tinder]