John Legend addresses paparazzo who allegedly made racist comment: 'It's a shame'

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John Legend recalled an encounter where a paparazzo allegedly referred to him as a monkey.

The 38-year-old R&B singer's wife Chrissy Teigen tweeted last week that a photographer made a racial slur when they landed at JFK airport in New York City. "Paparazzi at JFK just asked me 'if we evolved from monkeys, why is John Legend still around?" she wrote.

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Check out photos of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: (Exclusive Coverage) Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend August Wilson's 'Jitney' Broadway opening night at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Model Chrissy Teigen and singer John Legend arrive at the 18th Annual Post-Golden Globes Party hosted by Warner Bros. Pictures and InStyle at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: Model Chrissy Teigen (L) and recording artist John Legend attend The Art of Elysium presents Stevie Wonder's HEAVEN - Celebrating the 10th Anniversary at Red Studios on January 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: Model Chrissy Teigen (L) and singer-songwriter John Legend arrive at The Art of Elysium celebrating the 10th Anniversary at Red Studios on January 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: Recording artist John Legend (L) and model Chrissy Teigen attend The Art of Elysium presents Stevie Wonder's HEAVEN - Celebrating the 10th Anniversary at Red Studios on January 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Art of Elysium)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend Target's Toycracker Premiere event at Spring Studios on December 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Chrissy Teigen (L) and John Legend host the celebration of MATERIAL GOOD's 1st Anniversary on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Material Good)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Model Chrissy Teigen and Singer John Legend attends Target's Toycracker Premiere Event at Spring Studios on December 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Model Chrissy Teigen and musician/husband John Legend arrive at the 2016 American Music Awards held at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Chrissy Teigen, John Legend arrives at the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 18: Model Chrissy Teigen and singer-songwriter John Legend attend the 11th Annual Andy Roddick Foundation Gala at ACL Live on November 18, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Model Chrissy Teigen and singer John Legend arrive at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 13: Model Chrissy Teigen attends La Mer Celebrates 50 Years of an Icon at Siren Studios on October 13, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 07: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend the photocall for the Lancome Celebrates 80 Years of Beauty With All Its Ambassadresses on July 7, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lancome)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: John Legend and Chrissy Teigen attend day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on July 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 17: John Legend and Chrissy Teigen arrives at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 16: Model Chrissy Teigen arrives at 1 OAK Nightclub at The Mirage Hotel & Casino for a special Pre-Billboard Music Award celebration on May 16, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Emily Ratajkowski and Gabrielle Union leave the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
BURBANK, CA - APRIL 26: Model Chrissy Teigen (L) and recording artist John Legend attend The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 26, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for NATAS)
Chrissy Teigen attends The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. (Photo by Christopher Polk via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) Chrissy Teigen and John Legend arrive at the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) John Legend and Chrissy Teigen attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF15/WireImage)
Actress Chrissy Teigen arrives at the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Model Chrissy Teigen (L) and recording artist John Legend attend The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
Swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen and comedian Adam Devine attend the Sports Illustrated 2015 Swimsuit Takes Over Nashville With Kings of Leon event. (Photo by Rick Diamond via Getty Images)
Model Chrissy Teigen and singer/songwriter John Legend attend the unveil of the Reimagine Learning Initiative during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. (Photo by Cindy Ord via Getty Images)
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen celebrates His Birthday And The 10th Anniversary Of His Debut Album 'Get Lifted'. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images)
Simon Huck, Chrissy Teigen and Jonathan Cheban attend John Legend Celebrates His Birthday And The 10th Anniversary Of His Debut Album 'Get Lifted' at CATCH NYC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images)
Chrissy Teigen hosts Shutterfly's Wine, Dine and D.I.Y. Design Holiday Event at Sopra on November 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil via Getty Images)
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend the White Party Dinner Hosted by Andrea and Veronica Bocelli Celebrating Celebrity Fight Night In Italy Benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. (Photo by Andrew Goodman via Getty Images)
Chef Dominique 'Cronut King' Ansel and model Chrissy Teigen attend as DKNY celebrates the launch of the new DKNY MYNY fragrance with Rita Ora, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Bronfman, among other notables, at General Worth Square at Madison Square Park. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): John Legend and Chrissy Teigen -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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On Saturday, Legend addressed the alleged comments made by the paparazzo during an interview with Variety Studio at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. "We were right next to each other and we looked at each other like, 'Did he really just say that?' And he really said it. He basically called me a monkey," he said.

"Black folks have had to deal with being called monkeys for a long time and dehumanization has always been a method of racism and subjugation of black people," he added. "That's just part of American history and it's part of the present, apparently. We saw it with the former president, [Barack] Obama. Whenever people wanted to discount him or discount his wife, they compared them to apes. And we've seen that frequently."

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Legend said the encounter has only made him stronger. "I'm not hurt by someone saying that to me because I'm smarter, I'm stronger," he explained. "I look down on that person that would say something like that, but it's a shame that still exists."

Both Legend and Teigen attended women's marches on Saturday. The supermodel showed up on the front lines in Washington D.C.'s rally, while the "All of Me" singer attended the march in Park City, Utah.


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