West and the Wheelchair User

By: A.C.

I have written about “Hidden Disability” on this blog before.

A rather nasty incident occurred on the other side of the World which I’ve only just become aware of, probably due to all the news time being centered on something else that was happening.

Kanye West, who is some kind of ‘star’ in rap music, which if I am correct, has at least one sub-genre that treats women in a less than complimentary way, became involved in an incident at one of his concerts. It is a mystery to me why anyone likes this type of aggressive, fast–talking poetry.

Yet many people apparently do like Kanye West, including disabled fans who visited his concerts in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

What they did not expect from their hero was to have the concert stopped, and then be singled out because they did not stand up as ordered to by West. You can view the whole distressing scene by West here at as recorded on the Newsday website.

Disability Campaigners in Australia, said in the Sydney Herald Sun;

“Kanye West should apologise and do an awareness course after making wheelchair gaffes at his concerts.

Craig Wallace, of People With Disability Australia, told Confidential: “To call out people for not standing up, when they are disabled and cannot stand up, in front of thousands of people, is humiliating.” “Kanye West owes a duty of care and respect to his audience. It’s about courtesy and respect you give to an audience while performing in a public space.””

“West has come under fire after for demanding everyone stand up during one part of his show. In Sydney, he stopped his show for four minutes before figuring out two noncompliant punters were in wheelchairs. In Melbourne, West growled: “I can’t do this song if there’s anybody here sitting down — unless you’re handicapped and you pull out your handicapped parking slip right now.”

According to reports, once the fans had made it clear that they were indeed disabled, West responded with; “Okay, you fine”, before continuing the concert.

BBC Ouch also covered this story and you can read their report here.

While Kanye West has in the past offered kind gestures to disabled fans after finding out that they could not see the stage very well from their seats, this incident is bound to leave a bad taste in the mouth.

I think I will be sticking with Peatbog Faeries, Blazin Fiddles and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers amongst others.

This entry was posted in Opinion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.