Kanye West drew a torrent of criticism on social media this weekend after putting out an open casting call for the latest iteration of his fashion line that requested only “multiracial” women try out.
In a tweet on Friday, the 39-year-old rapper and fashion mogul solicited models for his upcoming Yeezy “Season 4” show, set to open on September 7, the first day of New York Fashion Week.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) September 3, 2016
“Multiracial Women Only,” the casting call read. “No Makeup Please Come As You Are.”
The tweet drew immediate backlash from West’s social media followers, who accused the rapper of excluding both white and black women from the tryouts.
@kanyewest ..so no black women??
— @kanye (@kanye) September 3, 2016
— Shadow (@WhiteEyedShadow) September 3, 2016
— tiocfaidh ár lá (@PepeWillsIt) September 3, 2016
@kanyewest This is a major issue. In an industry that consistently cuts Black models out, you do this?! You are the absolute worst. Truly.
— sunday candy (@KatchKenda) September 3, 2016
— MAYA LAUREN (@mayalaurennn) September 3, 2016
Responses also included several women who posted pictures in hopes of receiving a callback, and at least one user who doubted the “multiracial” requirement could be enforced:
So like….how is he determining this? Is there a board to verify they multiracial?
— Sauce Barkley (@TrillSmith) September 3, 2016
Despite the uproar over the casting call, the New York Daily News reports that thousands of women lined up outside the auditions at West 26th Street in Manhattan with the hopes of being picked for the show.
“I don’t see anything wrong with it because it’s his vision,” one attendee told the Daily News of the casting call. “As an artist, if you have a vision, people shouldn’t be able to say anything about that vision.”
West has been busy lately; in addition to preparing for his fashion show, the rapper is scheduled to perform two concerts at Madison Square Garden this week as part of his cross-country Saint Pablo tour.
On Sunday night, West made a surprise appearance at the Bad Boy Family reunion show at the Garden, where he joined fellow rapper Diddy for a song. Diddy posted video from the performance on his Instagram account:
You never know who is gonna show up at the #BadBoyFamilyReunionTour!!! #KanyeWest! Tickets on sale NOW at TicketMaster.com!! 📍 Tuesday Sept 6th Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre Thursday Sep 8th Atlanta, GA Philips Arena Sat Sept 10 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena Sunday Sept 11 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena Wednesday Sept 14 Dallas, TX American Airlines Arena Thurs Sept 15 Houston, TX Toyota Center Saturday Sept 17 Cincinnati, OH U.S. Bank Arena Tues Sept 20 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena Thurs Sept 22 Washington D.C. Verizon Center Friday Sept 23 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center Sat September 24 Boston, MA TD Garden Sunday Sept 25 Newark, NJ Prudential Center Friday Sept 30th Oakland, CA Oracle Arena Sat Oct 1st Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Tuesday Oct 4th Los Angeles, CA The Forum
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum