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On September 23rd, 2013, rapper Kanye West was interviewed by BBCRadio 1 (shown below, left) about his latest album Yeezus. On the following day, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel shared an edited montage of the interview, mocking West’s self-absorbed mannerisms, such as his retelling of pitching an idea for leather jogging pants to the Italian designer Fendi. Kimmel then showed a clip of two children parodying the interview (shown below, right), reading a transcript while drinking milkshakes. On September 25th, the video was uploaded to Kimmel’s YouTube channel, where it received 3.8 million views within 5 days.
On September 26th, West took to Twitter for a tirade in caps lock, calling out Kimmel for parodying the “first piece of honest media in years.” West criticized Kimmel’s humor, touting that his ex-girlfriend comedian Sarah Silverman is much funnier than he. He also invited Kimmel to put himself in West’s shoes, claiming that Kimmel would never understand, calling his face “crazy” and that he will never have as many quality sexual encounters as he has had.
During the tirade, West tweeted out two image macros (shown below) to reinforce these points. However, as of September 29th, the tweets have been deleted.
In one of West’s tweets, he referenced a January 2009 video in which Kimmel joked that he was having a sexual relationship with Ben Affleck. In West’s tweet, he utilized the hashtags #NoDisrespectToBenAffleck and #AllDisrespectToJimmyKimmel. On the evening of West’s rant, other people began utilizing these lengthy hashtags in tweets that were not necessarily related to Kimmel or Affleck. The hashtag began to gain attention after actor Zach Braff used it in a tweet arguing that he should play Robin to Affleck’s Batman, which was retweeted more than 1,300 times. Within days, the Affleck version was used more than 29,000 times and the Kimmel version was used more than 13,000 times. Tweets utilizing both of these appeared on Boston Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and Perez Hilton.
I should be Robin. #NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 27, 2013
While West was tweeting at him, Kimmel responded saying that West seemed to be “very angry” at him. A second tweet alleged that the situation was not a prank orchestrated by him, and that he would explain everything on the show that night.
On the night of the 26th, Kimmel explained on his talk show (shown below) that West had called him earlier in the day and insist that Kimmel apologize publicly for the mocking skit. He also read West’s tweets on air and asserted that he was now in a “rap feud.”
As West was tweeting, a number of news outlets began covering his rant including Variety, Billboard, Buzzfeed, the Hollywood Reporter and the Huffington Post. The same day, Slate featured an article about how West had the right to be angry, calling the original sketch “ignorant and stupid.” On September 27th, the morning after Kimmel’s response aired, many sites argued that the entire feud could be fake, citing how Kimmel had revealed himself to be behind a twerking FAIL video earlier that month. News sites and entertainment blogs including TIME, Fuse, CBS News, Entertainment Weekly, Extra TV and E! Online all investigated the possibility that the “feud” was orchestrated by the late night host.
Kimmel Interviews Kanye
On October 9th, West appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he sat down with Kimmel to discuss the Twitter feud (shown below). During the interview, West revealed that he had reacted to the skit because he knew Kimmel personally and felt that celebrities were treated as “zoo animals.” Kimmel responded by saying he often defends West in conversation and that he saw him as a genuinely good person. West proceeded to discuss his role in the fashion industry and ranted about paparazzi disturbing him and his family.
Immediately after the interview, Gawker published an article about the interview, which scrutinized pieces of lint on West’s head for being too distracting (shown below) and mocked West referring to him self as a “genius” several times.
Entertainment Weekly – PopWatch Kanye West vs. Jimmy Kimmel: Real or fake? POLL
The Hollywood Reporter – Kanye West Lashes Out Against Jimmy Kimmel on Twitter Over Spoof
Topsy – <ahref=“http://topsy.com/s?q=%23nodisrespecttobenaffleck&type=tweet”>Tweet Statistics for #NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK
The Hollywood Reporter – Kanye-Kimmel Feud: Hollywood Sounds Off, Mocks Ben Affleck Hashtag
Perez Hilton – Celebrities Respond To The Kanye/Kimmel Feud On Twitter!