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British Cabinet Office Says It’s Reviewing Wiley’s MBE After Anti-Semitic Tweets

The office said the award can be revoked if the recipient has engaged in “behavior that is deemed to bring the honors system into disrepute.”
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August 6, 2020
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Wiley performs on the main stage on Day 1 of Wireless Festival 2018 at Finsbury Park on July 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images)

The British Cabinet Office announced in a letter to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) watchdog the rapper Wiley’s Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) is under review after Wiley’s anti-Semitic tweets.

The letter stated that the office can review MBEs if the person who received the award is “found guilty of a criminal offense” or has engaged in “behavior that is deemed to bring the honors system into disrepute.” The letter added that the office would keep the CAA up to date on their findings on Wiley’s MBE.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted, “Holding anti-Semites publicly accountable for their Jew-hatred sends a message that bigotry — even against Jews will come at a price. Hope #UK officials do the right thing.”

Wiley, born Richard Kylea Cowie, had issued a series of tweets in July that stated “Jewish people you make me sick” and “listen to me Jewish community Israel is not your country sorry,” among others. He has since been banned from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The rapper told Sky News on July 29 that he thought it was “silly” for his tweets saying that Jewish people have power is anti-Semitic, but he did apologize for generalizing.

“I want to apologize for generalizing, number one, and I want to apologize for comments that were looked at as anti-Semitic,” Wiley said. “My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people.”

He then said shortly thereafter that he blamed his former manager John Woolf, who is Jewish, as well as Jewish lawyers and “the system” for making “me feel angry and upset because they are showing me their systemic racism and privilege that they’re allowed to use on us.” Wiley denied being anti-Semitic.

Regarding the MBE, Wiley told Sky News that he would be fine with giving it up since it’s currently in Woolf’s possession.

“I’ve never had the MBE,” the rapper said. “It’s framed in his house. Now who’s the MBE for, really?”

A spokesperson for Woolf told Sky News that Wiley can pick up the MBE from Woolf anytime.

According to the BBC, an MBE is “awarded to someone for making a positive impact in their line of work.”

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