Will Kanye West Keep His Mouth Shut?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kanye West: Won't 'detract' from NFL show

Kanye West is saying that he'll stick to entertaining when he performs at the NFL's kickoff concert on Thursday. I hope so.

I'm all in favor of celebrities speaking their minds...when it's appropriate. When a celebrity is asked to perform whether it be on TV or at the opening of a local mall, they are NOT being asked for their opinion on anything. They are there to do a job. No different than the security guard, the janitor, or the cameraman.

Everyone has an opinion, but most people have the sense to keep their opinions confined to coffee breaks, lunch hours, and other off-work venues. Why? Because the boss isn't paying you for your opinion and if he doesn't like it there's a good chance you'll lose your job for choosing your work hours to express it.

You compound your arrogance when you take the occasion of a national tragedy to express your opinion, and that's what Kanye did when he spoke out on the telethon. I won't rehash how ignorant the comment itself was, but when you're asked to appear because of your talent to entertain, it's never an appropriate time to express your personal views on anything, let alone something on which you haven't taken the time or effort to properly educate yourself.

(We also have the right to give the celebrity's opinion the proper weight when we consider the value we assign their opinions. The vast majority of celebrities either have no more than a high school education or never even completed high school at all. They lead insulated lives where the bills are paid and chores are done by other people. They certainly have a right to express their thoughts: but most would be better served by keeping them to themselves.)

It sounds like his management team reamed him good after his telethon stunt and made it clear to him that there's a time and a place to express his opinions and that place may be in a sit-down interview or on a personal blog, but it's certainly not during a performance.


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