Little Mix fans in tears as Leigh-Anne Pinnock reveals heartbreaking racism and struggle within band in documentary

Little Mix fans in tears as Leigh-Anne Pinnock reveals heartbreaking racism and struggle within band in documentary

LITTLE Mix fans were left in tears this evening as Leigh-Anne Pinnock bravely opened up about her experiences with racism in the band.

The 29-year-old was praised as she fought back against the lack of diversity in the industry in her powerful documentary Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power this evening.

In upsetting scenes she recalled the devastating moment she suffered racist abuse at school when another child told her she was “from the jungle” – but said it wasn’t until being in the band that she experienced it again. 

Leigh-Anne, who announced she’s pregnant with her and fiance Andre Gray’s first child last week, explained: "The only time I ever experienced racism was one time at primary school.

"A boy handed me a note that just said, 'Name: Leigh-Anne, Age: 9, from the jungle'."

"I was devastated. I'd never been made to feel like I didn't belong before.

"It turned out I wouldn't be made to feel like that again until my life changed overnight a decade later."

The singer told how racism has “ruined” her decade-long career in the group and how she felt “lost and invisible”.

The star even feared she had only been put in Little Mix as the “token black girl”.

Leigh-Anne was born and raised in High Wycombe, Bucks, by Deborah, a teacher, and John, a mechanic, who she says brought her up to be “really proud” of their Caribbean heritage.

But Leigh-Anne says she has always felt less popular than her bandmates Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Jesy Nelson, because of her race.

Those watching at home were incredibly moved by Leigh-Anne’s journey and took to Twitter to discuss it.

One person wrote: “Nearly 20 minutes in and I’m already crying again. I’m so proud of you Leigh-Anne.

Another added: “Listening to these women speak on racism is bringing me to tears. Imagine being told to bleach your skin. That'll stay with you for life.”

While someone else remarked: “This doc with Leigh-Anne from Little Mix on racism and colourism in the music industry – on BBC1 now – is brilliant. Sad but brilliant and informative and brave. #LeighAnne.”

In the documentary, Leigh-Anne meets other black artists who have faced similar situations, including Alexandra Burke and Sugababes singer Keisha Buchanan.

The film also sees her rally her record label Sony to introduce more diversity and champion black creatives – however they refuse to meet with her on camera.

She concludes the film, saying: “Our music is inspired by black culture and I don’t want the next black pop girl to come forward to feel like me.

“I’m going to keep pushing. 

“It’s not a question anymore, it has to happen.”

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