Amid the already tense backdrop of the Israel-Hamas conflict, Grammy-winning artist Alicia Keys found herself embroiled in controversy over an Instagram post that seemed oddly timed and potentially a coded anti-semitic message. However, it was the skepticism and outspoken criticism from media personality Megyn Kelly that brought our attention to the scrutiny surrounding Keys' social media activity.
On Monday, Keys posted a picture of herself donning a green leather jacket with a caption that began innocuously, asking followers, “What would you do if u weren’t afraid of anything??? Tell me your truth…” However, it was the subsequent mention of paragliding that sparked immediate backlash, with users suggesting that the term had become a sensitive trigger due to its association with recent Hamas terror attacks on Israel.
The artist swiftly deleted the post and issued a statement on her Instagram Stories, asserting that the content was "COMPLETELY unrelated" to the recent loss of innocent lives and expressing her heartfelt sorrow while emphasizing her stance for peace.
However, it was Megyn Kelly who injected a new layer of scrutiny into the situation. The prominent media personality took to social media platforms to voice her skepticism, challenging Keys' explanation and labeling the situation as questionable. Kelly posted tweets, questioning why the controversy was not receiving more attention and expressing disbelief at the lack of a thorough explanation from Alicia Keys.
In one tweet, Kelly exclaimed, "My God how is this not EVERYWHERE right now?? ALICIA KEYS can post THIS and it gets ignored?? No explanation? HELL NO." She tagged various media outlets, urging them to cover the story.
Many have remarked on the alleged symbolism in Keys' post, pointing to the use of green and the mention of paragliding, which she claimed could be interpreted as support for Hamas. Kelly directly quoted Keys' post, drawing attention to the artist's expressed interest in paragliding in the context of recent Hamas attacks that utilized similar methods.
"Now she claims she wasn’t making a reference to the attack on Israel. She just happened to be wearing Palestinian colors and randomly posting in 2 diff’t places about paragliding a week after Hamas murdered 1300 Israelis using paragliders. She thinks we’re fools," Kelly tweeted.
Alicia Keys' former manager, Guy Oseary, defended her on Instagram, insisting that the post was not connected to the recent events and that Keys was horrified to learn about the implications of the specific word used. Others have pointed out that Alicia Keys performed in Tel-Aviv in 2013 despite pressure from left-wing activists to boycott the state of Israel and not perform. Furthermore, others have pointed out that Alicia Keys lives next to a vibrant paragliding community in California, and has mentioned her desire to try paragliding in interviews before.
As the controversy unfolds, the clash between Keys' explanation and Kelly's skepticism serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding public figures navigating global issues in the digital age.