Kanye West Faces Backlash Over Wheelchair Incident
Kanye West is taking heat for calling out two concertgoers for not standing up only to find out that they had disabilities.
During a show Friday in Sydney, West insisted that everyone stand before he continue with his performance. Video of the incident shows the singer pausing to scan the audience to ensure everyone complied.
“This is the longest I’ve had to wait to do this song. It’s unbelievable,” he said after noticing two people who were not standing.
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One was in a wheelchair and the other had a prosthetic leg, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Only after gaining confirmation that those seated truly had disabilities did West back down.
“If he is in a wheelchair, it’s fine,” the singer said before continuing his show.
The incident has disability advocates outraged.
In an opinion piece in The Daily Beast, Mark Perriello of the American Association of People with Disabilities said that requiring confirmation of people’s disabilities was “downright offensive.”
For his part, West criticized the media for seizing on the incident.
“At my concerts, I make sure everybody has as good a time as possible. So all this demonizing me, all that, it ain’t going to work after a while. Pick a new target. Pick a new target,” the singer said during a concert Monday in Brisbane, Australia.