Misha B Takes To Instagram Live To Discuss Her Racist Treatment At The Hands Of X Factor Judges And Contestants

Misha B Takes To Instagram Live To Discuss Her Racist Treatment At The Hands Of X Factor Judges And Contestants

June 15, 2020

Last night, former X Factor contestant Misha B — real name Misha Amber Bryan — took to Instagram Live to discuss the racist treatment she had been subjected to during her time on the show. The video, which can also be watched on her main Insta page, has since been uploaded to YouTube, which you can watch below.

The show is known for creating storylines, which often involve painting contestants as heroes or villains, to create a narrative beyond simply finding the best singer or performer. On Insta Live, Misha discussed how she encountered the show's toxic nature almost immediately, from judges, producers, and fellow contestants.

At the time, the show had painted Misha as 'arrogant' and a 'bully' in a bid to create such a villain. Misha had been a favourite to win after blowing audiences away with her cover of Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" early in the show. However, after the bullying accusation was made on the show by Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh her chances were dashed.

Later in the video, Misha discusses how former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland (who reportedly suffered her own share of mistreatment on the show) was unique in her defence and support of Misha. However, even with Rowland's support, Misha was ultimately kicked off the show and her life was irreparably damaged, leading to depression, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts.

Misha also explains that other contestants, including winners Little Mix, were told that she had been talking about them, which she strongly denies, creating further conflict and alienating her from the rest of the contestants.

"Before I went on to the live show, they proposed to change my name to Misha B," she explained. "Little did I know, this was to play into their corrupted agenda for the 'Misha Bully' they had already orchestrated for this."

In his book A Better Me, judge Gary Barlow admitted that the bullying storyline was completely orchestrated by producers: "About half an hour before the show goes live, the producers would come in and they'd go, 'Oh my God. That Misha. She's a bully. Can't believe it. She is such a bully. In fact, you know what? You should say it. You should say it on air. She's bullied everyone all week,'" he wrote.

Their decision to paint a black woman as the villain in that series is understandably drawing widespread criticism, not least because it plays on and perpetuates the offensive 'angry black woman' racist trope.

This is not the only accusation of bullying or bigotry being levelled at X Factor and its producers. Last night, a Twitter thread created by @IndexWorld_ emerged that catalogued a litany of incidents where contestants were treated poorly on camera, including Simon Cowell's transphobia and another instance where Dannii Minogue openly mocked a contestant's sexuality.

Despite understandably losing all trust in the music industry, Misha B is still creating music, most notably recent cuts like the inspiring "Letter To My Sistars" and "Herbal Tea', both released last year.

Words: James Keith