Disability rights groups in Australia are demanding an apology from Kanye West after the rapper targeted handicapped fans for failing to stand up during his shows.
The hip-hop star sparked outrage Down Under by urging a fan in a wheelchair to get to his feet during a misunderstanding at his gig in Sydney on Friday night.
West was caught on camera stopping the show and demanding every single concert-goer get to their feet for his track “Good Life,” telling the crowd, “I can’t do this show until everybody stand up. Unless you got a handicap pass and you get special parking and s**t.”
In the footage, the rapper is seen calling out one particular fan, insisting he would not continue the show until he stood up before realising the gig-goer was disabled. After realizing the mistake, the rapper added, “Is he in a wheelchair?… Okay, you (are) fine.”
The stunt was similar to one West pulled at a previous concert in Melbourne in which he urged disabled fans to prove they were unable to stand, telling the audience, “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.”
West has angered disability rights campaigners who are now demanding an apology from the star.
Craig Wallace, of People With Disability Australia, tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph, “To call out people for not standing up, when they are disabled and cannot stand up, in front of thousands of people, is humiliating. What if it was a young person who’s coming to terms with their disability? It’s arrogant to say every person in the audience needs to stand up just because you tell them to. Kanye West owes a duty of care and respect to his audience… Asking disabled people to show their handicap pass is patronising and inappropriate. He should apologize. Kanye West would also benefit from disability awareness training.”
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