Is Kanye West being stigmatized over mental-health issues? One ‘View’ host thinks so
Spurred by a spate of erratic behavior online, Kanye West’s mental health has become a popular topic of discussion, even among the hosts of ABC’s “The View.”
On Monday the co-hosts focused on the personal and professional consequences the rapper has weathered, including his high-profile split from reality star Kim Kardashian, temporary suspension from Instagram and the reported scrapping of his performance at the Grammy Awards, which “The Daily Show‘s” Trevor Noah is hosting April 3.
The concern, the “View” panelists argued, is that the Grammy-winning rapper is being reprimanded over his mental-health issues and “something he may do” at the ceremony. It’s just one of many hot takes on the artist’s behavior as broader discourse about his mental health have been used to make sense of his latest actions.
Instagram suspends Kanye West for hate speech after inflammatory Trevor Noah post
Trevor Noah has responded to an Instagram post from Kanye West, who was suspended by the platform Wednesday for making derogatory comments.
Last week, Ye had his Instagram suspended for hurling a racial slur at Noah after the comedian delivered a sobering assessment of the rapper’s “belligerent” behavior toward his ex-wife and likened it to abuse.
The move came on the heels of Ye shrugging off the backlash to his gory music videos for “Eazy,” in which his claymation lookalike brutalizes likenesses of the beauty mogul’s new beau, “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson. Ye defended his work and behavior by saying “art is therapy.”
Panelist Ana Navarro argued that Ye’s questionable behavior has gone on for too long.
“Kanye has been doing this now for so many months. I question what’s taken the social platforms so long to bar him after he’s been posting threats and horrible, vile comments against so many people for such a long time,” she argued.
“I totally sympathize with what Trevor Noah is saying— ‘counsel him, don’t cancel him,’ but who’s going to get him to be counseled?” Navarro asked, referring to Noah’s response to the Grammy news.
“Too often, people who are rich, who are famous, surround themselves [with] an entourage who like the trappings so much that they’re incapable of confronting you with the truth,” Navarro continued. “So how long is this going to go on and how long are we going to say, ‘Poor Kanye, he just needs to be counseled,’ while other people are being dragged through the mud, while he’s inciting violence against Pete Davidson, while he’s issuing horrible racial slurs?
“Yeah, somebody needs to get him to counseling, but ‘til then, do we all need to put up with this?” she said.
Ye’s discography and celebrity mean he can still headline mega music festivals. But his latest outbursts and threats may be too much for fans to bear.
Insisting that she’s no “apologist” for the 44-year-old rapper, fellow panelist Sunny Hostin was Team Kanye, saying she believes the firebrand artist is now being “stigmatized” over his mental-health issues and that she’s “uncomfortable” with him being pulled from the ceremony.
Although there was no official announcement that Ye was scheduled to perform at the Grammys, he is up for a number of awards, including album of the year and rap album for “Donda,” melodic rap performance for “Hurricane” featuring the Weeknd and rap song for writing “Jail” with Jay-Z. It’s unclear if the rapper — who’s no stranger to awards-show outbursts — will still attend the event in Las Vegas.
“Performance is an art and it’s speech in many instances,” Hostin said, referring to what Ye has been posting on social media. “Where do we draw the line? I mean, I believe in consequence culture, I don’t believe in cancel culture. And I feel that he is, because of the stigma of mental health, I think he is being stigmatized.”
Chris Redd, who impersonates Kanye West on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ is ready to start mocking the rapper again amid his ongoing Pete Davidson debacle.
“Bottom line, people who are mentally ill — he’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder — are much less likely to commit violence than have violence enacted upon them,” she said.
Hostin pointed out that the musician is not “this violent person that should be shunned from society and his art taken away from him.”
“We have something called the 1st Amendment in this country. We have freedom of speech. We have freedom of expression, and we’re canceling Kanye West for something he may do,” she added.
Co-host Sara Haines argued that Ye has “proven himself more capable of going rogue when getting an award” rather than performing. She questioned why Grammys producers would “leave him the open mic with no script” if he were to win instead.
Kanye West has acknowledged the backlash sparked by his ‘Eazy’ music video, which sees a clay figure of Ye behead a figurine resembling Pete Davidson.
“The problem is he’s in a place that’s not great right now, and even though ... the prospects of harm are low, you never know,” Haines added. “And he keeps posting and taking [the posts] down, which is showing either someone is looking out for him or he’s looking out for himself.”
She said that he has “impulse issues” and said she worried that “he can’t help himself and worries that his behavior at the show could be threatening.”
Navarro also said she’s concerned about Ye’s “millions of loyal fans who get ginned up” by his posts against Kardashian, Davidson, Noah and comedian D.L. Hughley.
The father of four was diagnosed with bipolar disorder — a lifelong condition — after a 2016 health scare landed him in a hospital. Although he has claimed that it was a misdiagnosis, he said in 2019 that he likens his mental-health issues to “a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle.” Kardashian also confirmed the continued struggle in 2020 with her own social media posts after West launched a failed presidential bid.
The rapper has been sending threatening texts and tweets to his ex Kim Kardashian, her boyfriend Pete Davidson and others.
The issue is also discussed in the new Netflix docuseries “Jeen-Yuhs,” and he addressed it last November on the “Drink Champs” podcast, airing his frustration with people who call him “crazy” and saying “we all are on the spectrum somewhere.”
“There’s a lot of people who will say, ‘I don’t believe that you are actually bipolar.’ And anytime somebody wants to say that I’m wrong about something, hide the truth [or] lie, they say, ‘Ye’s crazy.’ It’s just the ultimate final cut-off to not have to listen,” he said.
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