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‘But He Made Graduation’ Meme Trends as Ye Fans Realize the Limits of Separating Art From the Antisemitic Artist

No more 808s, just Heartbreaks.

Tobey Maguire crying in Spider-Man.

When one of your favorite celebrities reveals themselves to be terrible, it is difficult to process. Should you still support them because you love their movies/music/writing? Or maybe just still enjoy their older stuff before you knew you would never want to meet them in real life? But they may have disturbed you so much that it’s hard to even enjoy their work that you once loved. I understand the pain, as it has happened to me a few times (Marilyn Manson, Johnny Depp, and J. K. Rowling, to name a few).

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Fans of Kanye “Ye” West know what I’m talking about. For years now, he has been doing and saying disturbing things that make people question supporting him. But people hang in there. Even through his support of Donald Trump, stalker treatment towards Kim Kardashian, and showing unsolicited pornography to business executives, people have stood by him. However, after Ye’s full-on antisemitic rant on Alex Jones’s show, many have realized they can no longer use “but he made Graduation” as an excuse.

What is the “But He Made Graduation” meme?

In 2007, West released his third studio album called Graduation. Many people hail it as one of the best records ever made. It has influenced the next generation of rappers. Since the 2010s, fans of Ye have argued his erratic and appalling behavior should be forgiven because he made Graduation. They say his social behavior and harmful rants should be ignored or forgiven because of his creative genius.

Over the course of this year, however, the phrase “but he made Graduation” is getting harder to defend. Between Ye unironically wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt and taking an increasingly antisemitic stance, he is alienating more fans. On December 1, Ye went on Alex Jones’s conspiracy show, where he said vile things against Jewish people and vocalized his support of Hilter. Now, the staunch end-all argument against Ye’s reprehensible behavior has turned into a meme of a person crying while still trying to hold on to their love of Graduation.

It is hard to give up your favorite artists. Again, I understand. I used to really enjoy Ye’s music. But there is a point where we must all decide whether we can still support someone who spews hate without a second thought. Giving money and time to someone who openly supports Hitler is a line a lot of people cannot (and shouldn’t) cross.

(featured image: Marvel)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.

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