Disability rights groups in Australia are demanding an apology from Kanye West after he targeted handicapped fans for failing to stand up during his shows.
West sparked outrage when he urged a fan in a wheelchair to stand up during a misunderstanding at his Sidney gig this past Friday night.
West was caught on camera stopping the show and demanding every single concert-goer to get to their feet for his track “Good Life” telling the crowd, “I can’t do this show until everybody stands up. Unless you got a handicap pass and you get special parking and s**t.”
In the footage, the rapper calls out one particular fan, insisting he would not continue the show until he stood up before realizing the fan was disabled. After realizing his mistake, West added, “Is he in a wheelchair?… Okay, you’re fine.”
West pulled a similar stunt at a previous concert in Melbourne, when he urged disabled fans to prove they couldn’t stand. He said, “I can’t do this song if there’s anybody here sitting down – unless you’re handicapped and you pull out your handicapped parking slip right now.”
Disability rights campaigners are now demanding an apology from the star.
Craig Wallace, of People With Disability Australia, tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph: “To call out people for not standing up, when they are disabled and cannot stand up, in front of thousands of people, is humiliating. What if it was a young person who’s coming to terms with their disability? It’s arrogant to say every person in the audience needs to stand up just because you tell them to.
“Kanye West owes respect to his audience… Asking disabled people to show their handicap pass is patronizing and inappropriate. He should apologize. Kanye West would also benefit from disability awareness training.”