Kanye West cancels "Today" concert amid Bush flap

Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:04pm EST
 
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By Daniel Trotta

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hip-hop artist Kanye West on Friday canceled a performance on NBC's "Today" show to protest what he called a "set up" when he was interviewed on the program over his flap with former President George W. Bush.

West was due to perform on the morning talk show on November 26, the Friday after Thanksgiving, but canceled after the perceived slight during an appearance on "Today" on Wednesday. Live performances are ratings draws for "Today," the top-rated U.S. morning talk show.

"I'm not performing on the Today Show for obvious reasons. I'm so happy the world got to see just a small piece of 'the set up,'" West, among the most popular hip-hop stars, said on his Twitter page on Friday.

An NBC spokeswoman confirmed the performance was canceled.

The dispute stems from West's comment after Hurricane Katrina five years ago that the slow U.S. government response was because Bush, president at the time, "doesn't care about black people."

The deadly 2005 hurricane devastated largely black areas in and around New Orleans.

Bush referred to West's criticism in his recently released memoirs and told "Today" interviewer Matt Lauer: "I resent it. It's not true. And it was one of the most disgusting moments of my presidency."

Bush's remarks drew attention because, as Lauer said, they were the most emotional comments Bush made during a 3 1/2-hour interview that covered topics including the September 11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Katrina disaster.   Continued...

 
<p>Entertainer Kanye West poses for a portrait while promoting his new collaborative book named "Thank You and You're Welcome" in New York May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>