Singapore Idol season 3 winner Sezairi Sezali has accused local media website Mothership of taking his tweet out of context and “weaponising it to suit [their] agenda”.

Sezairi Sezali is a Singaporean musician and singer-songwriter who rose to fame when he won the third season of Channel 5’s Singapore Idol singing competition. He has since released singles, a full-length album and a self-titled Extended Play record with Sony Music Entertainment.

On 30 July 2019, Sezairi tweeted: “People who fight fire with fire are arsonists too.”

On Monday (5 Aug), Mothership published an article entitled ‘Entertainers & artistes in S’pore weigh in on Preeti + Subhas Nair hullabaloo’ and featured Sezairi’s tweet as a “cryptic reaction” to the controversial Preetipls rap video on the “brownface” E-pay advertisement.

Mothership also used a screenshot of Sezairi’s tweet in the cover photo of their article:

That same day, Sezairi hit out and accused Mothership of taking his earlier tweet out of context. Sezairi’s tweet criticising Mothership has received nearly 2,000 retweets and over 1,700 likes on Twitter.

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Sharing a screenshot of Mothership’s tweet promoting the article, he wrote: “Well f!@# u for taking my tweet out of context and weaponising it to suit your agenda. I’m f!@#ing done with Twitter. Bye.”

Mothership later edited their article to reflect Sezairi’s complaint that his tweet was taken out of context but did not offer any other clarification on the matter:

The only other allusions Sezairi made to the incident was re-tweeting another netizen’s tweet, which said: “can’t wait for racism to end so i can go back to tweeting nonsense like “why can’t i breakdance in my dreams””

He also re-tweeted a question by another netizen directly asking Mothership why it did not contact Sezairi before publishing the article:

The Independent has contacted both Sezairi and Mothership for comment and will update this article once we receive a response.