How do you solve a problem like Kanye? Following the recent announcement that one of the world’s most popular rappers will headline the Saturday night show for this year’s Glastonbury Festival, an online petition against Kanye has garnered between 60,000 and 65,000 signatures by disgruntled music enthusiasts from around the world. The petition demands that promoters drop West from the celebrated music festival’s top spot.
According to SPIN, the petition against Kanye was launched earlier this week by Neil Lonsdale of Norfolk, England, and it features a narrative describing the highly successful recording artist as an “egotistical, maniacal … disgrace” who doesn’t “represent anything.” Lonsdale denies that his comments are based on racial prejudice or a bias against hip-hop.
All told, the petition, which is posted at Change.org, is far more likely to build buzz and anticipation for the event than to result in Kanye’s ultimate ouster from the Glastonbury show. Nevertheless, the stunt is prompting a spectrum of reactions on social media, from West’s most impassioned fans to his many detractors, with a few lighthearted jokes mixed in.
— BROOKLYN ZOO (@BROOKLYNZOOUK) March 17, 2015
— $hy Charle$ (@shy_charles) March 17, 2015
— Adam Barnes (@abarnes0308) March 16, 2015
It’s not surprising that Kanye has turned into a veritable lightning rod for criticism in light of his storied history of controversial comments and public antics, including unforgettable run-ins with Taylor Swift and Beck at separate Grammy Awards shows. Indeed, contempt for the recording artist manifested through another bizarre Internet-based incident late last week. On March 12, the Houston Chronicle reported that the “hacktivist” group Anonymous—or an affiliated individual or group—appears to have aim at West through a video posted online. The video, which features a narrator wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, lambasts West as “a spoiled child in a grown man’s body.”
Despite all the ho-humming and hot-sighing, the Glastonbury Festival will undoubtedly go on as planned this weekend, even if the signatures on the petition against Kanye grow exponentially in the days and hours leading up to the big event. As Stereogum recalls, U.K. fans reacted with similar skepticism in 2008 when Jay-Z was announced as a headliner for the same festival but he took it in stride, offering concertgoers a memorable cover of the Oasis tune “Wonderwall.” It’s a safe bet that Kanye West will follow suit and give us all something to talk about when the music’s over in Glastonbury.
[Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]