Kanye West is blaming “white media” for “taking down” Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, and R. Kelly in his latest Twitter rant, arguing that a “Black media company” would never do the same to a white celebrity. In the midst of his latest multi-day tirade, which included demands for apologies from Drake and J. Cole and an attempt to upload his recording contract to Twitter, Kanye parroted popular conspiracy theories about the three entertainers, all of whom have been accused of some kind of sexual misconduct.
“Michael Jackson Bill Cosby aaaaand wait for it … R Kelly had documentaries made or were taken down by white media,” he tweeted. “There has never been a Black media company that would take down a white celebrity.” As usual, Kanye’s assertions were missing a few points — namely, that Bill Cosby and R. Kelly were accused by multiple women — supported by plenty of physical evidence — of sexual abuse. Cosby was accused by multiple (Black) women of slipping them drugs and taking advantage of them and was convicted in 2018, while R. Kelly filmed himself having sex with underage (Black) girls and is currently on trial in multiple jurisdictions while threatening witnesses through proxies.
Meanwhile, Michael Jackson continued to be one of the most popular entertainers in the world a decade after his death. While the Leaving Neverland documentary painted an unflattering picture of the singer, there were many who refused to believe the subjects of the documentary, questioning their motives. Jackson’s and Kelly’s songs still get millions of streams and in fact, saw increases after both documentaries were released. It’s questionable whether any of these men were “taken down” by anyone or anything but their own behavior, and with increases in streaming for some of their music, they’re arguably more popular than ever.
Kanye’s position makes a certain kind of sense. These men were obviously heroes for him growing up and it’s hard to see your heroes for what they are. Undoubtedly, more than a few Kanye fans are going through the same thing now as he pokes holes in his self-conception as a genius by the day.