Kanye West has responded to being called a bully by Gigi Hadid on Instagram, explaining why he invited Candace Owens to his YZY show in Paris, but skirting the criticism of both his behavior and the controversial “White Lives Matter” shirts centered in the show. Hadid called out the mercurial musician after he put up several posts on Instagram making fun of Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson for criticizing the shirts, calling him “a bully and a joke,” and prompting him to share a new post (after deleting the previous ones) insisting that “GAB IS MY SISTER.”
Later, Kanye took a different tack, posting an all-caps text statement in which he made a sympathy play while simultaneously deflecting accountability for his own behavior. “I wonder what Gigi and Venus’s perspectives were when I didn’t know where my child was on her birthday,” he wrote. “So why did everyone feel so free to attack me about my t-shirt but Candace Owens was the only public figure to say that it was wrong for the Kardashians to keep me from seeing my daughter?” He also accused his critics of “tearing a Black man down for actually having a different political opinion.”
There’s really nothing new to take away from this. We already addressed the pointless provocation of the shirts and how easily his attention-seeking behavior can be co-opted by reactionary movements to spread vile, hateful ideologies behind the mask of validity he gives them, intentionally or not. It’s barely worth pointing out that you can’t sell the whole “proud Black man” thing at the same time as a “White Lives Matter” shirt, knowing that the slogan was intentionally created to undermine and deride another that was created in defense of a people who are told time and time again that they don’t. And believe me, he knows it.
It’d be cool if something someone says could get through to him but as long as all it takes is “dinner at Ferdie” to get him off the hook, he’ll keep doing this stuff — which is a damn shame.