Kanye West stunned by bad reaction to ‘White Lives Matter’ show

Far from being a calculated publicity stunt meant to spark outrage, sources close to Kanye West say the rapper-turned-designer has been stunned by the response his latest collection received.

On Monday, West appeared at the surprise Paris Fashion Week debut of his YZY Season Nine collection with a t-shirt featuring the Pope’s face on the front and the words “White Lives Matter” on the back. He brought controversial conservative YouTuber Candace Owens – who also wore the same shirt – as his guest, and models also wore the shirt on the show.

Front-row guest Jaden Smith left the show immediately upon seeing the outlandish designs, and West was roundly criticized by public figures, journalists and activists.

But sources who have spent time with West in France since the show tell us he’s disappointed he hasn’t been able to get his message across effectively.

“He thinks it’s a PC thing,” said an insider, “he wants to give a voice to the ‘other side’ [of the race debate in America].” “He doesn’t understand why people don’t see that,” they added.

Kanye West gives a speech in a White Lives Matter t-shirt
During the Paris Fashion Week show, West gave a disjointed speech.
Kanye West/YouTube

According to the New York Times, the Anti-Defamation League has referred to and attributed the phrase “White Lives Matter” – which was coined as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement – “hate speech to [it] to white supremacists (including the Ku Klux Klan).”

Models wear White Lives Matter t-shirts
Models also wore the bizarre design during the show.
Kanye West/YouTube

West has been open about his struggle with bipolar disorder, and indeed referred to hospitalization in a disjointed speech he gave before the show started.

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