Kanye West claims he was ‘grossly over-censored’ at Billboard Music Awards

The rapper’s performance was largely muted by TV censors

Kanye West has criticised organisers of the Billboard Music Awards for heavily censoring his show-closing performance on Sunday (May 17).

In a statement obtained by Hollywood Reporter, West’s publicist says West was “grossly over-censored” and, as a result, “seriously misrepresented”, before apologising to fans for causing disappointment.

The statement reads: “Kanye West was grossly over-censored at the Billboard Music Awards. Non-profane lyrics such as ‘with my leather black jeans on’ were muted for over 30 second intervals. As a result, his voice and performance were seriously misrepresented.

“It is ridiculous that in 2015, unwarranted censorship is something that artists still have to fight against. Although West was clearly set up to face elements beyond his control during the live broadcast, he would like to apologize to the television audience who were unable to enjoy the performance the way he envisioned.”

Representatives for ABC and Dick Clark Productions had no comment, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The rapper closed the ceremony with a medley of recent single ‘All Day’ and ‘Yeezus’ track ‘Black Skinhead’. A large amount of West’s performance was censored due to frequent use of expletives (as was the case during his Brit Awards appearance in February) and the star’s appearance was shrouded by smoke and pyrotechnics.

West was booed by a portion of the audience at the end of his performance, as well as during his introduction by his sisters-in-law, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.

Kanye West recently received an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. West was described by the art school as “a leader in the music industry as a Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer, as well as a fashion designer and interdisciplinary artist whose work provokes cultural discourse by reflecting a realism of the street.”

Accepting the doctorate, West said, “I am a pop artist, so my medium is public opinion, and the world is my canvas.”