Social media reacts to Kanye West’s ban from Grammy Awards over online behavior

Fellow rapper The Game comes out in his defense, but a petition has collected 40,000 signatures to get him barred from the Coachella music festival in California

Kanye West at the Coachella festival in April 2019.
Kanye West at the Coachella festival in April 2019.Amy Harris (AP)

Social media is awash with reactions to the decision to bar Kanye West from performing at the upcoming Grammy Awards over “concerning online behavior.” The musician was recently locked out of Instagram for 24 hours over a racial slur against a television show host and he has been criticized for his controversial online posts aimed at his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her current partner, comedian Pete Davidson

The rapper The Game, who collaborates with West in the controversial track Eazy that was released earlier this month, has come out in support. “Time and time again they show us that they only want to STEAL the culture,” reads the rapper’s post in defense of West. In the music video for Eazy, West not only makes reference to Pete Davidson in the lyrics but also appears to be kidnapping and burying a claymation figure reminiscent of the comedian.

Being banned from the Grammys is not the only repercussion West might face over his latest antics. After the temporary lockdown of his Instagram account, criticism of the rapper has skyrocketed. A petition has been launched on Change.org to remove West from next month’s Coachella festival in California, where he is a headliner. “We have watched Kanye harass, manipulate and hurt Kim, Pete and others for over a year. No one seems to want to stand up to him,” the petition reads. “This is ridiculous that he is allowed to freely do this. Coachella (along with other brands that are still working with him) should be ashamed of themselves and should not be giving him any more of a platform.” Nearly 40,000 people had signed the petition by Thursday.

As West’s over 15 million Instagram followers have witnessed, the rapper has been making frequent controversial posts on that platform aimed at his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her current partner, comedian Pete Davidson. Most recently, a racist comment against Trevor Noah, the host of US television program The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, led Instagram to suspend the artist’s account for 24 hours.

Bad online behavior also seems to have prompted the organizers of the Grammy Awards to ban the rapper from performing at the annual event next month, in a move first announced by The Blast last Friday and later confirmed by the 44 year-old rapper’s agency to People and Variety. According to sources close to the rapper and cited by The Blast, the decision was made due to his “concerning online behavior.”

The Recording Academy, which grants the awards, has not commented on the matter, but sources close to West told The Blast that his team received a phone call on Friday night informing them that the rapper had been removed from the list of performers at the show.

This decision, they said, is due in part to Trevor Noah being the host of the event. The organization wanted to avoid any tension or confrontation between the two, following the rapper’s racist attack against Noah. The Blast also confirmed that West’s team was not surprised by the ban. The rapper’s representatives also attacked the Academy, saying it is obsolete and unimportant to the music industry.

Despite the fact that West has five nominations at this year’s Grammys, including Album of the Year and Best Rap Album for his album Donda, the star did not appear on the first list of performers that event organizers published last Tuesday. Variety magazine reported that, according to a spokesperson, West had already agreed to perform.

Although West’s team accuses Trevor Noah of being the reason the rapper has been vetoed by the Grammys, a source close to Noah told CNN that the host had nothing to do with the decision and that he had no conversations with them about West. “The notion that Trevor or his team asked the Grammys to ban Kanye is ridiculous,” said this source.

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