John Legend Isn’t Hurt, Looks Down On Photographer Who Called Him a Monkey

After being insulted by a member of the paparazzi last week, singer John Legend took the high road and educated white people on how racists use the word “monkey” to dehumanize Black people.

“Black folks have had to deal with being called monkeys for a long time and dehumanization has always been kind of a method of racism and subjugation of Black people and that’s just part of American history and a part of the present, apparently,” Legend tells Variety Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Sundance Film Festival.

Legend’s wife, model and actress Chrissy Teigen, took to Twitter Thursday, Jan. 19, to recount the encounter she had with the photographer at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. In a series of tweets, Teigen said that the paparazzi implied that Legend was a primate after asking relatively harmless questions about Teigen’s cooking, reported Atlanta Black Star.

To add insult to injury, Legend was right there as the photographer made the incendiary remark.

While he admitted that these racist incidents are all too common, Legend said that he isn’t hurt by the paparazzi’s statements.

“We saw with the former President Obama, whenever people wanted to discount him or discount his wife, they compared them to apes,” he recalls. “And we’ve seen that frequently. I’m not hurt by someone saying that to me because I’m smarter, I’m stronger. I look down on that person that would say something like that. But it’s a shame that it still exists.”

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