Leigh-Anne Pinnock: I used to feel scared about speaking out on racism

Leigh-Anne Pinnock attending the UK premiere of Top Boy at the Hackney Picturehouse in London.
Leigh-Anne Pinnock attending the UK premiere of Top Boy at the Hackney Picturehouse in London.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock has said she used to feel “scared” to speak out about racism.

The Little Mix star, 29, presents new BBC Three documentary Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power on discrimination within the music industry.

She said she has found her “purpose” since talking about race.

Queen & Slim premiere – London
Leigh-Anne Pinnock (Lauren Hurley/PA)

“I was really scared, actually, about speaking out, which is why I feel like I didn’t for so many years,” Pinnock said.

She added she was “scared that people wouldn’t understand, because I feel like with racism, if you don’t experience it, how are you ever going to really get it and feel it and understand it”.

“Also I was scared to lose fans, I was scared of offending fans, because that’s not what I’m trying to do at all,” she said.

“I literally just wanted to address how I felt.”

Pinnock added that now she has spoken about racism she has “never felt so empowered, and it just makes me feel so much better knowing the whole world is having this conversation”.

“It’s not just behind closed doors with my family,” she said.

The Global Awards 2019 with Very.co.uk – Arrivals – London
(Scott Garfitt/PA)

“I’m having it with my white friends who I would never have had before.

“It’s amazing to know that things are going in the right direction.”

Pinnock said the pop music industry is not racially diverse enough.

“When I walk into work and I see a predominantly white room, I’m like, ‘But why?’” she said.

“It doesn’t need to be like this. There are black people that can do these jobs and should be having these opportunities as well.

“For me, diversity is just so important and I want my children to be able to watch TV and see themselves and at the minute it’s not good enough.”

Brit Awards 2019 – Arrivals – London
(Ian West/PA)

The singer said she has found her “purpose”, adding: “And that’s to use my voice, take action and try and make a change.

“I definitely don’t see it as a pressure, I want to do this and I’m so so proud and happy that I have made this film.

“I definitely feel like I’m owning who I am so much more.

“I feel like I’m a different person, the confidence I have in myself.”

Earlier this week Pinnock revealed she is expecting her first child with footballer fiance Andre Gray.

Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power airs on BBC One at 9pm on May 13 and will also be on BBC Three and iPlayer from 6am on that day.

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