MIA claims British Vogue pulled article about her over 'anti-vax' comments

Musician who said she would ‘choose death’ over a possible coronavirus vaccine hits out at fashion magazine on Instagram

MIA has claimed that British Vogue magazine has cancelled a feature about her because of comments she made on vaccination in the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, the British-Sri Lankan musician, whose real name is Maya Arulpragasam, said she would “choose death” over a vaccine for the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the 44-year-old posted on her Instagram page screenshots of a text conversation with an unidentified person who said that the editor of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, had withdrawn his offer for a feature. She has since removed the post.

The message quoted a Vogue editor as saying: “Considering our August is an issue where we’re chronicling the struggles of the NHS to cope while a vaccine is tried to be made we don’t feel we can have her involved. It just wouldn’t be right. All of our issues July-September will be supporting the frontline healthcare workers and we need to be respectful of them and all they are doing until a vaccine exists.”

A spokesperson for British Vogue told the Guardian: “British Vogue supports the NHS and everyone on the frontline who are protecting people from the virus and saving lives every day.” They offered no comment on MIA’s allegations.

The Guardian has contacted representatives for MIA.

Beneath the screenshot on her Instagram account, MIA accused British Vogue of overlooking her activism regarding healthcare, including “helping Jeremy Corbyn fight for the NHS, when everyone voted Boris”, and standing “with Tamils when the Sri Lankan government was bombing UN civilian hospitals, taking financial/career hit”.

She sarcastically thanked the magazine for “acknowledging that choice is a liberty I choose to exercise and fight for” and for “giving me the time to research how many people’s lives have been affected by enforced vaccines across many African countries”.

She went on: “Anti vaxer [sic] is your term. It didn’t exist before this binary addiction everyone has to separate everything into this and that. Anti this anti that. I prefer to not make everything so black and white.

“I’m sure there’s [sic] variety of doctors researchers and labs and counties [sic] who understand what’s happening, I’m sure there are good drugs and bad drugs out there. Just doing research isn’t anti anything but pro respecting the process. Btw how many vaccines are you prepared to have? One a year? 10 a month? 2 a year? Lack of discussion is censorship.”

At the end of March, MIA tweeted: “All the vaccines you’ve already had is enough to see you through [the coronavirus pandemic].” Early in April, she clarified: “I’m not against vaccines. I’m against companies who care more for profit then humans. I care for better track record that proves this. I care that African countries are not always the testing ground. I don’t want it coming from banks / tech / hedge fund sector and I want a choice.”

She has also stoked the baseless conspiracy theories linking 5G to the coronavirus outbreak. While she has said she doesn’t think the two things are related, she has claimed: “I think [5G] can confuse or slow the body down in healing process as body is learning to cope with new singles wavelength s [sic] frequency etc @ same time as Cov”.

Members of the public have set fire to 5G masts around the country, despite there being no scientific basis or credible evidence for such claims.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

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