A 25-year-old man who said a racial slur while singing along to a song by Wu-Tang Clan has been hit with a fine.
Kyle Siegel, of Norgaet, Lerwick, admitted uttering the word “n*****” while singing along to a song called Protect Ya Neck on 20th February 2022 in the Scalloway Boating Club.
Siegel was singing along to a video on the app TikTok in the doorway of the female toilets when he said the word.
But he did not know that there was a woman in one of the cubicles who is of mixed race, who took exception to him using the word.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the complainer was “severely shocked” by Siegel’s use of the word, and had challenged him about it.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client fully accepted that he had used the word, and said the complainer had also accepted that Siegel “would not have known they were there”.
Mr Allan told Sheriff Ian Cruickshank that the Wu-Tang Clan were a “very successful” American rap group and that all of its members were of “an ethnic background”.
He said the word was used repeatedly throughout the song.
The defence agent said that a number of issues had arisen from the case, one of them being “artistic freedom”.
But he said it would be difficult for the court to accept Siegel, who is “not a person of colour”, using the word in a public place.
Siegel “accepts that he has crossed the line here”, Mr Allan said, hence why he had pleaded guilty.
He added that Siegel “can’t sufficiently remember if he apologised” at the time of the incident, but said his client “sincerely apologises” for using the word.
Sheriff Cruickshank fined Siegel a total of £500, plus a victim surcharge of £20.