Kanye West stoked controversy with a catwalk event at Paris Fashion Week with t-shirts with the slogan “White Lives Matter.”
He invited rightwing commentator Candace Owens as a guest to his fashion show with the pair posing for photos with the slogan.
Unsurprisingly, the stunt was met with swift backlash on social media
The event was part of his Yeezy Season 9 show in Paris and comes after the billionaire rapper was seen with bruises and a bloody lip.
The shirt featured a photo of Pope John Paul II on the front and was worn by models on the catwalk including Selah Marley, who is singer Lauryn Hill’s daughter, and Bob Marley’s granddaughter.
Ye has since responded to the backlash after his show got “White Lives Matter” trending on social media.
Social media reacts to Kanye West’s White Lives Matter t-shirt
The Yeezy fashion designer had the internet in shambles as many criticized the show while others dismissed it as another publicity stunt.
BET host Marc Lamont-Hill accused Kanye of setting a dangerous precedent by wearing the controversial t-shirt.
“Kanye West decision to wear a “White Lives Matter” shirt is disgusting, dangerous, and irresponsible. Some of y’all will rush to defend him. You should ask yourselves why…,” he wrote on Twitter.
Jaden Smith revealed that he abandoned the YZY SZN9 event in response to the t-shirts.
“I had to dip, Lol,” he wrote in a tweet, adding: “Black Lives Matter.”
A critic on Twitter accused the rapper and fashion designer of being anti-black.
“Kanye west making Black models wear ‘white lives matter’ shirts is a culmination of his anti blackness and his immersion in white supremacy ideologies and methods. Disgusting,” the person wrote.
Another Tweeter accused Candace Owens and Kanye of embarrassing themselves for the sake of publicity.
“Kanye West and Candace Owens have to be the 2 stupidest individuals on earth. The fact that they are using racism directed also to them, to get attention, is just on a whole new level of pitiful. This is not even pathetic. This is embarrassing.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center dubbed White Lives Matter a hate slogan used by neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist organizations.
Kanye West responds to White Lives Matter backlash
Kanye West issued a response to the backlash of his White Lives Matter t-shirt on his Instagram Story.
He wrote: “Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam. Now it’s over. You’re welcome”
He is likely referencing the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, which has been accused of mishandling donation money.
Per NBC News, Black Lives Matter Grassroots is suing an executive of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation for allegedly siphoning $10 million in donations.
Kanye has been accused of using anti-black rhetoric and symbols to stir up controversy in the past.
In 2018, he said 400 years of US slavery “sounds like a choice” in a TMZ interview. He also added a confederate flag to his Yeezy merchandise jacket back in 2013.