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Grime star Wiley forfeits his MBE for ‘bringing the honours system into disrepute’ after he likened Jews to the Ku Klux Klan


  • Musician, real name Richard Cowie, is often referred to as the godfather of grime
  • He found himself controversy in July 2020 after a long anti-Semitic Twitter rant

British grime artist Wiley, real name Richard Cowie, has forfeited his MBE for ‘bringing the honours system into disrepute’, according to a list published on the Cabinet Office website.

The musician, whose real name is Richard Cowie, and who is often referred to as the godfather of grime, was honoured for his services to music in 2017.

He shared his approval on social media at the time, writing ‘Big up the Queen’ after the honour was made public.

But in July 2020, he became mired in controversy after spending hours on a long Twitter rant which included several anti-Semitic messages discussing the ‘power’ of Jewish people.

He began his rant: ‘Listen to me Jewish community Israel is not your country I’m sorry … The Star of David that’s our ting … Some people have gotten too comfortable on lands that don’t belong to them.’

British grime artist Wiley, real name Richard Cowie, has forfeited his MBE for 'bringing the honours system into disrepute'

British grime artist Wiley, real name Richard Cowie, has forfeited his MBE for ‘bringing the honours system into disrepute’

The rapper, pictured, is acknowledged as The Godfather of Grime and received an Ivor Novello award in 2019

The rapper, pictured, is acknowledged as The Godfather of Grime and received an Ivor Novello award in 2019

In one tweet from this morning, he compares the Jewish people to the Ku Klux Klan

The singer's manager John Woolf completely disassociated himself with his client's messages. He told MailOnline: ''To be very clear here. I do not support or condone what Wiley has said today online in any way shape or form. I am a proud Jewish man and I am deeply shocked and saddened but what he has chosen to say. I am speaking to key figures in my community in light of today's tweets. This behaviour and hateful speech is not acceptable to me'

The singer’s manager John Woolf completely disassociated himself with his client’s messages. He told MailOnline: ”To be very clear here. I do not support or condone what Wiley has said today online in any way shape or form. I am a proud Jewish man and I am deeply shocked and saddened but what he has chosen to say. I am speaking to key figures in my community in light of today’s tweets. This behaviour and hateful speech is not acceptable to me’

Later, using the trope of Jewish people’s influence in the entertainment industry, he wrote: ‘There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to undestand [sic] why … Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law…Work that out.’

He said: ‘If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.’ 

Wiley is considered the Godfather of Grime and last year was awarded ‘The Ivors Inspiration’ award for his work in the early noughties. 

In a statement at the time, Wiley’s manager John Woolf said: ‘To be very clear here. I do not support or condone what Wiley has said today online in any way shape or form. 

‘I am a proud Jewish man and I am deeply shocked and saddened but what he has chosen to say. I am speaking to key figures in my community in light of today’s tweets. 

‘This behaviour and hateful speech is not acceptable to me.’  



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