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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Kanye West has his special needs discriminated against by fan in wheelchair

Illustration for article titled Kanye West has his special needs discriminated against by fan in wheelchair

As Kanye West continues to fight for the equal rights of celebrities, he is also facing discrimination on another front: those who don’t recognize Kanye West’s special needs to have everyone standing for him at his concerts. That unfortunate intolerance for Kanye West’s disability—which makes him unable to perform everyday activities, such as rapping, unless every audience member is on their feet—came to light again this weekend in Australia, after a concertgoer refused to get out of their wheelchair.


“I can’t do this song, I can’t do the rest of this show until everybody stands up,” Kanye tells the Sydney crowd in the video below, bravely making his disability known. He magnanimously added, “Unless you got a handicap pass and you get special parking and shit”—allowing that there are certain circumstances in which some may find it impossible to stand and give Kanye West the respect he deserves, provided you have the proper documentation. The crowd laughed at the very notion.

By way of providing that documentation, one concertgoer reportedly waved her prosthetic leg at Kanye. It checked out, so Kanye granted them permission to remain seated. But others were still refusing to stand and/or show proof of their artificial limbs—another heartbreaking reminder of the discrimination Kanye faces from people who refuse to take his needs into account. “This is the longest I’ve had to wait to do a song. It’s unbelievable,” he lamented of this world we have yet to progress past. The crowd booed in sympathy.

“Pascal, there’s two people left that don’t want to stand up,” West said to his bodyguard, Pascal Duvier, sending his helper into the arena to procure an explanation or prosthesis. “Stand up!” the audience began to chant at these two people, voicing their displeasure at the way they were now leaving Kanye feeling embarrassingly singled out.

Yet Kanye was, as always, the bigger man. “Now if he is in a wheelchair, then it’s fine,” Kanye told his bodyguard, reminding all that some people just cannot help their prejudice against standing. Whether they are born with it or come by it due to the vagaries of existence, some people simply have an innate inability to stand for Kanye—even after he’s met them halfway by showing up in exchange for an exorbitant amount of money.

And so, after confirming that these two people were, in fact, in wheelchairs, Kanye declared that this was “okay”—that he would persevere regardless, despite the hindrances. Indeed, it is a constant struggle for Kanye West to overcome the obstacles that are always placed on him, but moments like these are truly what makes Kanye Kanye.