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Kanye “Ye” West’s Image Is Heading South

Published on Oct. 19, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
by Jamie Zimmerman.

Photo by Abby Walsh via Unsplash

“Stop telling Jewish people to get over what Kanye said and that he’s mentally ill and not serious.”

“Please stop using mental illness to explain away Kanye West’s anti-Semitic rants.”

“Tell me again why Britney Spears needs a conservatorship and Kanye West somehow doesn’t?”

These are just a few of the thousands of tweets circulating the internet concerning the recent behavior of Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

Ye has a history of broadcasting his thoughts across the internet for the past few years that tend to result in loss of trust from his fans and others, such as in 2018 when he suggested that “slavery was a choice.” Many of these social media outbursts of the past often correspond with Ye’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

The public was made aware of Ye’s diagnosis after he labelled the disorder as his “superpower” in his 2018 song “Yikes.” Ye has been in the public eye for his continuous on-and-off manic behavior, and right now it is very on.

Photo by Abby Walsh via Unsplash

On Saturday, Oct. 8, in a now deleted tweet, Ye said he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” an assumed reference to the U.S. military readiness condition scale known as DEFCON. In the tweet, he also used antisemitic concepts and said he could not be antisemitic “because black people are actually Jew also.”

The tweet was removed on Sunday, Oct. 9, and Ye was temporarily suspended from further posts for violating platform policies. Ye had previously been on a two-year hiatus from Twitter but took this recent action after also being locked out of his Instagram account for violating the community guidelines.

Now you might be wondering: Where is Ye’s PR team with all of this going on?

Well, Ye reportedly fired his publicist right before Paris Fashion Week earlier this year, where he then wore a “WHITE LIVES MATTER” T-shirt and publicly endorsed the slogan. This stunt only added to the controversy surrounding Ye as the Anti-Defamation League deems this slogan as hate speech.

With no apparent PR team responsible for Ye, the media and several prominent celebrities have taken it into their own hands to hold him accountable.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis responded Sunday on Twitter, writing, “The holiest day in Judaism was last week. Words matter. A threat to Jewish people ended once in a genocide. Your words hurt and incite violence. You are a father. Please stop.”

Curtis then held back tears in response to the tweet when she appeared on the “Today” show as a guest the following Monday morning.

Fellow musicians such as John Legend and Jack Antonoff have been quick to share their thoughts on Ye’s recent Twitter rants. And even political figures such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have taken to social media to condemn Ye’s behavior and rejecting any idea that his mental illness may be seen as an excuse for his harmful words.

When it comes to celebrities and PR, it’s all about managing and controlling the individual’s brand and public perception.

With Ye continuing to display this unsettling behavior, and the public taking the role to reprimand him, will Ye finally be “cancelled” for good?

The unprompted public display from Ye has confused and disheartened both fans and peers alike. And the scandal has further proved the importance of having a strong PR team. With his personal brand and public image continuing to slip toward an irredeemable status, Ye must work to make amends for further hope of restoring his name.

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