Kanye West cancels 'Today' performance set for Black Friday
Kanye West has canceled a "Today" performance that had been announced by Matt Lauer on the show Thursday, the network learned officially Friday. West had been scheduled to play live outside the studio in New York the day after Thanksgiving.
Lauer interviewed West on Wednesday for a piece to air Thursday. The rapper, upset by video clips played during their sit-down, fired off a series of messages on Twitter afterward, accusing the show of being "brutal" and trying to set him up and force his answers. Among those messages was one saying, "I don't mess with Matt Lauer or the Today Show," which apparently meant he was not coming back for the live gig.
Now in Abu Dhabi, he sent further messages out early Friday, referring to behind-the-scenes footage aired Thursday on "Today," including an explanation of how Lauer's announcement that the rapper would perform on the show later in the month made West look like the villain:
I blatantly said I'm not performing on a tweet and to everyone around me and the next day they still announced a performance. Do you guys see what I'm saying now, this is just a small slice of the day to day [stuff] that goes on that helps to precipitate the idea that I such an [idiot] cause when I don't perform oh noooow I'm the one that's crazy or a jerk! If I hadn't tweeted about how they set me up at the show they would have never played the extra footage that displayed how disrespectful.... I want you guys to look at that footage and start to put everything together now.
Not that he is framing Lauer as the villain, right? "All positive energy ... all smiles," he tweeted. "Much love to Matt and the whole Today Show. I accept ya'll future apology in advance LOL!"
-- Christie D'Zurilla
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Kanye West reaches into the crowd as he performs at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Credit: Mike Blake / Reuters