On Tuesday, Dizzee was interviewed by Piers and Susanna Reid about his upcoming eighth album and the drive-in show he’ll be performing at next month.
However, when Piers attempted to turn the conversation to the widespread protests that have been going on in America and the UK in support of Black Lives Matter, the chart-topping MC said he had been hoping to keep the conversation on his forthcoming projects.
When asked by Piers to “try and articulate to people what Black Lives Matter actually means”, Dizzee questioned: “What makes you think I know? Am I the Black spokesperson? I’ve got a bunch of views but it’s early, if I’m honest.”
When Piers pressed further, Dizzee continued: “I know [my view matters], but today we are talking about the drive-in.
“I hope this isn’t a missed opportunity to speak up on a lot of the badness that has been happening, but it’s really nice and sunny outside today and I can’t really be bothered to be in all of this this morning.
“I’ve got my afro out so I know I’m looking a bit natural and that, so maybe that’s why you’re asking the question.”
Undeterred, Piers then said: “You’re a high-profile Black man in this country and it’s a huge issue in this country.”
“Let’s keep it calm,” Dizzee said. “I’m just saying I’ve got a bunch of views but right now is not the time. I can personally take any opportunity when I want, because of social media, but right now it’s really early and it’s just going to cause a bunch of whatever, unnecessary.”
“I think that’s completely fair enough,” Piers insisted. “I think you’re completely entitled to say that and I don’t want to force you to say anything, if you’re concerned about doing it this early in the morning.”
After Dizzee then told Piers he couldn’t “force me” to address the movement, the daytime host said: “I’ve got no intention of forcing you, you are reacting very aggressively to a very polite question, I’m just asking you what you think.”
“This is what happens, I become the aggressive Black man,” Dizzee then responded, to which the presenter added: “You have not become the aggressive Black man.”
Making light of the interview hours later, Piers tweeted a screenshot of himself alongside Dizzee and Susanna, joking: “Dizzee, you’re a rascal.”
He also hit back at claims he’d been “mugged off” by the musician, writing: “I didn’t feel ‘mugged off’. I asked @DizzeeRascal about #BlackLivesMatter & he said he didn’t want to talk about it. Entirely his prerogative.”
Piers did also note that he thought it was a “strange reaction” from the music star.
Defending his line of questioning, he said: “Extraordinary how me asking a high profile black music star about #blacklivesmatter is now being seen as some kind of outrage. Wouldn’t it have been worse if I hadn’t?”