Tuesday, June 18, 2024

LeBron James’ show “The Shop” will not air Kanye West episode, citing “hate speech”

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“The Shop,” a talk show starring LeBron James, will not air an episode taped with Kanye West, after the rapper made several antisemitic and offensive comments on social media in recent days.

The show, which previously aired on HBO, now airs on YouTube. It is produced by James’ SpringHill entertainment and production company, which is run by CEO Maverick Carter, who also stars on the show. 

“Yesterday we taped an episode of ‘The Shop’ with Kanye West,” Carter said in a statement to CBS News on Thursday. “Kanye was booked weeks ago and, after talking to Kanye directly the day before we taped, I believed he was capable of a respectful discussion and he was ready to address all his recent comments.”

“Unfortunately, he used ‘The Shop’ to reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes,” Carter said, adding that they decided “not to air this episode or any of Kanye’s remarks.”

West, who has changed his name to Ye, has not publicly commented on the decision. CBS News has reached out to representatives for West.

Earlier this week, West tweeted a threat that he would go “death [sic] con 3” on Jewish people. He was promptly locked out of his account “due to a violation of Twitter’s policies,” according to Twitter, although the company did not specify.

West was also restricted from Instagram, after posting a screenshot of a text exchange with Sean “Diddy” Combs in which he suggested Combs was being controlled by Jews.

The rapper received widespread backlash for those posts and others. He also wore a controversial “White Lives Matter” shirt at his Paris fashion show earlier this month. The phrase “White Lives Matter” emerged as “a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement” in 2015, and has been adopted and promoted by white supremacist groups and sympathizers, according to the Anti-Defamation League. 

“While The Shop embraces thoughtful discourse and differing opinions, we have zero tolerance for hate speech of any kind and will never allow our channels to be used to promote hate,” Carter said in his statement. “I take full responsibility for believing Kanye wanted a different conversation and apologize to our guests and crew. Hate speech should never have an audience.”

The format of “The Shop” is a casual talk show, meant to mimic the discussions that occur in barbershops. Each episode features a group of guests who have a moderated discussion, often featuring James and Carter. James was not at the taping for the West episode.

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