John Legend reacts to paparazzi calling him monkey

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John Legend said he wasn’t hurt when a photographer called him a ‘monkey’ but that he’s upset racism still exists.

In an interview with Variety at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, John said, “We were right next to each other and we looked at each other like, ‘Did he really just say that?’ And he really said it. He basically called me a monkey.”Black folks have had to deal with being called monkeys for a long time and dehumanization has always been a method of racism and subjugation of black people. That’s just part of American history and it’s part of the present, apparently.

“We saw it with the former president, Obama, whenever people wanted to discount him or discount his wife, they compared them to apes. And we’ve seen that frequently. You know, 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 still exists.”