A New York Times event featuring Kanye West was cancelled by the host who was going to interview the rapper, after the host said recent events would cause a distraction to the purpose of the event, according to Business Insider.
Charlamagne Tha God, a New York City radio host, was scheduled to interview West on Wednesday for The New York Times' "TimesTalk" series, but decided now is not the right time for such an interview.
"Unfortunately, I think to have that conversation with him right now would not be productive and a total distraction from the point of the convo which is to eradicate the stigma of mental health especially in the black community,” Charlamagne said in a statement posted on Instagram on Monday.
What's the story?
Charlamagne, who hosts "The Breakfast Club," a popular morning radio show in New York City, said the interview was supposed to be a positive conversation about dealing with mental health issues.
“Normalizing being mentally healthy is a conversation that I really wanted to have with Kanye because he’s been so vocal about his own mental health struggles,” Charlamagne wrote.
Although he didn't say it explicitly in his statement, it's not hard to draw the connection between this abrupt cancellation and West's meeting on Thursday with President Donald Trump.
During the meeting, which had a polarizing impact on mainstream media and was also controversial within the black community, West at one point denied that he had bipolar disorder, something he previously spoke openly about dealing with.
"I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was connected with a neuropsychologist that works with the athletes in the NBA and NFL. He looked at my brain,” West told Trump. “I wasn’t actually bipolar; I had sleep deprivation which can cause dementia 10 to 20 years from now when I wouldn’t even remember my son’s name.”
Such an admission would surely have complicated a discussion about mental health, on top of all the controversy surrounding the Trump meeting.
Did The New York Times say anything?
The newspaper that was facilitating the event released a standard event cancellation statement, not commenting on any of the issues surrounding West.
"We informed ticket holders earlier today that Charlamagne Tha God and Kanye West have cancelled their appearance for the TimesTalks scheduled for October 17," Times spokeswoman Adenike Olanrewaju said Monday. "Full refunds are being issued."