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Kanye West has no problem supporting Marilyn Manson: ‘They can’t cancel us all’

Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West,  poses in a leather jacket and dark glasses
Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has spoken out about inviting Marilyn Manson and DaBaby to one of his listening parties.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)

It appears that Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, might not be caught up on all the accusations made against those he has chosen to support — people like Marilyn Manson.

Ye, who legally changed his name last month, talked in a Thursday podcast about bringing out alleged sexual abuser Manson and embattled rapper DaBaby at a “Donda” listening event in Chicago in late August.

“When I sit next to Marilyn Manson and DaBaby, right after both of them got canceled, for five songs, it’s like, they can’t cancel us all,” West said on Revolt TV’s “Drink Champs” podcast.

DaBaby was called out recently for anti-gay and misogynistic comments. Manson has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct, including forced labor, sleep deprivation and rape, per a lawsuit from actor Esmé Bianco.

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Court records reviewed by The Times and nearly two dozen interviews portray Manson as a transgressive artist who mistreated and isolated women.

Ye elaborated, saying of the #MeToo movement, “They’ll hit you with accusations, from somebody you was with, you know, 10 years ago, and then also it’s like, there are women who have been through really serious things, pulled into alleys against their will.

“That’s different than a hug,” Ye said. “But it’s classified as the same thing.”

The rapper appeared to conflate the allegations against Manson with allegations against other high-profile people such as John Lasseter. In the months before the former Pixar chief creative officer resigned his position, he apologized in a staff memo to “anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape or form.”

“Kanye West talking about #metoo ... is not good. He’s confusing ‘a hug’ with ‘women getting pulled in alleys,’” SiriuxXM host Sowmya Krishnamurthy tweeted late Thursday. “This is exactly why nothing changes. Men in power don’t understand the nuances of sexual assault and violence.”

Manson, real name Brian Warner, said in a February statement on Instagram that the allegations against him, which have been leveled in four civil suits from various women and by actor and ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Wood, are “horrible distortions of reality.” His legal team has said the performer “vehemently denies” all claims of sexual assault and abuse.

“These lurid claims against my client have three things in common — they are all false, alleged to have taken place more than a decade ago and part of a coordinated attack by former partners and associates of Mr. Warner who have weaponized the otherwise mundane details of his personal life and their consensual relationships into fabricated horror stories,” Manson’s attorney, Howard King, said in a statement.

“People pass it off as ‘Oh, he’s eccentric,’ or ‘What the hell was she expecting?’” Bianco recently told The Times about Manson, who has cultivated a menacing public image over the years. “If only it was a stage persona. He’s so much worse than his persona.”

Kanye West posed with disgraced shock-rocker Marilyn Manson and embattled rapper DaBaby at Thursday’s listening event at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Back on the “Drink Champs” podcast, Ye addressed cancel culture in general, saying repeatedly, “I love it, I’m above it” and describing himself as being in an airplane thousands of feet in the air, looking down at the world.

“It’s power and politics, you know, power-hungry maniacs and just control,” the rapper said. “This is ‘1984' mind control that we in. ... Mob mentality.”

Times staff writers August Brown and Suzy Exposito contributed to this report.


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