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Here’s Why Kanye West Was Banned From Performing at The Grammys

US rapper Kanye West attends the WSJ Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards at MOMA on November 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

On April 3rd, 2022, numerous talented music artists will gather for the prestigious Grammy Awards. This year’s awards will be hosted by comedian Trevor Noah and features an impressive line-up of performers, including Billie Eilish, BTS, Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo. Noticeably absent from this list, however, is American rapper Ye, also known as Kanye West.

The Blast was the first to report Ye’s Grammy performance ban on March 18th. According to the report, Ye’s team received a call earlier that day informing him of the Grammys’ decision to scrap him from this year’s performance line-up. The reason for his ban was cited as “concerning online behavior.” One of Ye’s representatives confirmed the report with Variety.

While Ye has been pulled from the performers’ line-up, he is still in the running for five Grammy awards. Ye’s album, Donda, received multiple nominations, including one for Best Album of the Year. Despite being banned from performing, Ye is not banned from attending the Grammys. Hence, he is still allowed to attend, walk the red carpet, and potentially win and accept awards.

Why was Ye banned from performing?

Ye’s performance ban stems from his social media attack on The Grammys’ host, Trevor Noah. Just days before the Grammys’ decision, Ye was banned from Instagram for 24 hours for harassment—having posted a photo of Noah on his Instagram page, captioned with racial slurs.

The post has since been deleted, however, it resulted in Ye’s account being restricted from posting, commenting, or sending messages for 24-hours (due to violating Instagram’s guidelines against hate speech, bullying, and harassment). Ye reportedly went after Noah because The Daily Show host had addressed Ye’s harassment of his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, on a March 15th segment.

Noah commented on his show that Ye’s behavior towards Kardashian was terrifying. Furthermore, he stated that Ye’s behavior towards Kardashian sheds light on what many women experience when attempting to leave a relationship. Noah also reportedly commented on Ye’s now-deleted post, stating, “It breaks my heart to see you like this.” He then reiterated why Ye’s behavior was fringing on dangerous, as it has gone much further than a joke.

Ye’s harassment of Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson

Kardashian filed for divorce from Ye in February of 2021. However, it wasn’t until November of 2021 that Ye’s harassment became particularly pronounced after early reports arose of Kardashian’s relationship with Pete Davidson. Ye began to claim he was blindsided by the divorce and wanted to get back together with Kardashian. Furthermore, he started giving public, impromptu speeches of affection and begging her to come back.

On December 13th, Kardashian requested to be made “legally single” and to move forward in her divorce filings from February. Documents indicated that Ye had been uncooperative and unresponsive during attempts to move forward in divorce proceedings. Next, Ye began making allegations that Kardashian was keeping his children from him, that he hadn’t been invited to his daughter, Chicago’s, birthday party, and that Kardashian had “kidnapped” his daughter on her birthday. Ye has also consistently attacked Davidson—with one terrifying example being a clay model of Davidson, decapitated, in his “Eazy” music video.

Response to the performance ban

Since Ye’s performance ban, several influencers have spoken out in support of him. In fact, Noah himself took to Twitter to indicate that Ye is in need of help, not canceling. Despite Ye’s attack on him, it doesn’t seem as if Noah advocated for, or was involved in, Ye’s ban.

Rapper The Game also took to Instagram to slam The Grammys for their decision to pull Ye from the performers’ list. He claimed that the decision was racially motivated and defended Ye “speaking his mind.”

For many though, it’s hard to feel sympathy for Kanye West in this situation—he chose to publicly attack the host of the event, and since he is not banned from attending the 2022 Grammy Awards, his performance ban is a slap on the wrist. Furthermore, Ye has been consistently harassing, bullying, and humiliatingly his ex-wife on social media for months. He has dragged out their divorce, denied Kardashian’s wishes for him to leave her alone, threatened her partner with violence, and even utilized his children to make public attacks on Kardashian’s character.

Ye’s behavior is nothing short of disturbing. That many individuals think this kind of behavior is funny, or that he is fighting for his family, is also very concerning. Displaying a pattern of abusive behavior, that is reminiscent of what many partners have dealt with when attempting to leave an abusive relationship, isn’t “speaking your mind.” It is also the kind of dangerous behavior that can turn physical. Banning Ye from performing at the Grammys is a very small, but still positive, step towards taking away platforms from individuals who partake in, or condone, harassment, domestic violence, intimidation, and bullying.

(featured image: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.