It seemed like only last week that we were penning the words ‘can the man who proclaimed that slavery “seemed like a choice” shock the world anymore? Yes, it seems he can’. Ah – that’s because it was.
In the week following Ye’s YZY SZN9 show in Paris, which sent t-shirts emblazoned with ‘White Lives Matter’ slogans down its runway, there has been an ongoing storm of outrage spanning two social media sites, a handful of celebrities and an overarching and dangerous narrative of hatred. The show’s immediate reaction largely encompassed outrage over the harmful statements broadcast on the tees, as well as fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson being publicly cyberbullied by the musician and creative before a filmed ‘reconciliation’ the day after the show.
In tandem, Supreme’s creative director Tremaine Emory called out Ye on his Instagram for bringing the late Virgil Abloh into the conversation – starting a back-and-forth that we were (willingly or otherwise) privy to from Ye’s incessant posting of text conversations on to his own IG page. Over the week, various celebrities became embroiled in the s***storm by various comments, one-sided narratives or no perceptible link at all – including Gigi Hadid, Elon Musk, P. Diddy, Azealia Banks and Kylie Jenner’s best friend Stas to name just a few.
Over the weekend, things escalated, or continued. Ye’s IG account was finally restricted, and had content deleted for violating Meta’s policies. Whilst Meta has not declared what it was that specifically led to the restriction and deleting of his content, many publications have reported it to be an anti-semitic exchange between Ye and Diddy.
In turn, this led to Ye turning back to Twitter – much to the delight of Elon Musk, who welcomed him back with a dedicated tweet of his own. First tweeting a snap of himself with Mark Zuckerberg back in the day, before asking ‘who you think created cancel culture’ (sic)?, Ye’s latest Twitter-stint was short lived, as he has since been suspended from that social media site, too.
This came after a tweet which read “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” Here, clear and dangerous statements were laid out for all to see – and led to the swift removal of the tweet, before his account was locked.
The American Jewish Committee released a statement which read “Ye needs to see that words matter, especially a vicious antisemitic comment that recently surfaced on social media. If he wants to have any credibility as a commentator on social issues, let alone as a musician, maybe he can start by figuring out how to make a point without fomenting hatred of Jews.”
It’s unclear how long these social media restrictions will last. However, with Ye already undertaking TV interviews from French and American news outlets throughout the week, it’s unlikely that this is the last we’ll see and hear of this most recent fallout which started with the YZY show last week in Paris.
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