After a day of speculation about the interview that sent Kanye West into a full-on Twitter rant , on Thursday morning (November 11), the “Today” show aired Matt Lauer’s sit-down with the MC. After the interview, Lauer defended the show’s practices that so upset Kanye on Tuesday.
During their conversation, Lauer and West got into a conversation about former president George W. Bush’s comment that West’s outburst during a telethon benefiting the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (“George Bush doesn’t care about black people!”) was the low point of his presidency. West told Lauer that he empathized with Bush because he too was called a racist after interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
While West was responding, “Today” played a clip of the VMA incident. “It was so funny to me that it could be a race thing because what I was expressing was my frustration of years and years of seeing — how am I supposed to talk with this running under?” West said, referring to the VMA clip. Lauer asked that the audio be turned off, so West wouldn’t be distracted, but the rapper was clearly put off by the practice. “Please don’t let that happen again,” West said to somebody off camera.
Earlier, when producers replayed the footage of the Katrina telethon, Kanye said, “I didn’t need you guys to prompt my emotions. I don’t need all the jazz.”
Following the interview, West sent out a series of angry tweets about it. “While I was trying to give the interview they started playing the ’MTV’ under me with audio!!!!!!!” West wrote. “I don’t mess with Matt Lauer or the Today Show … and that’s a very nice way for me to put it! … HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS. IT WAS VERY BRUTAL AND I CAME THERE WITH ONLY POSITIVE INTENT … I feel very alone very used very tortured very forced very misunderstood very hollow very very misused … I don’t trust anyone but myself! Everyone has an agenda. I don’t do press anymore. I can’t be everything to everybody anymore … I can’t be everybody’s hero and villain savior and sinner Christian and anti Christ! … I can’t take anymore advice!!! I create, I’m creative, I have a good heart, everyone will see and understand one day.”
Following the interview, Lauer spoke to views about the running of the VMA tape. “During an interview, when somebody references a place or an event, we run the tape,” Lauer said. “There was nothing inappropriate about it. We do it all the time.”
West is scheduled to be back on “Today” for a live performance on November 26, the day after he is scheduled to perform during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
After seeing the interview, do you think Kanye was right to be upset? Sound off in the comments.