In a conversation with Pharrell Williams for i-D Magazine, West appeared to reference the Dan Reed-directed documentary Leaving Neverland. That film focused on testimony by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom claimed that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. Jackson denied any wrongdoing before his death in 2009.
Speaking about Jackson and seemingly referring to the documentary and the subsequent fallout, West said: “We should have something that says we can’t allow any company to tear down our heroes. Not on The Shade Room, not on social media and especially not in documentaries.”
He also went on to compare his own treatment in the media with that of Jackson’s, saying: “I’m like every time the media isn’t happy with me it’s like, ‘Here they go. They’re gonna come and Wacko Jacko me.’ Which in some ways, they’ve tried to do.”
In the same interview West also compared Williams to Jackson, saying that both artists “tore down the walls and the doors” in music and culture.
West said: “It felt like you [Williams] really tore down the walls and the doors much like Michael Jackson did a generation before. In a way, he’s very similar to Michael Jackson, in the ways where Michael Jackson was doing covert, super gangsta stuff, like he’d just pop the needles off.
“He kissed Elvis Presley’s daughter on MTV. Black culture used to be… we used to be fronting all night, but Michael was doing stuff that was different to what we were programmed to understand as being what we should do.”
Last week (June 5), it was revealed that West had set up a college fund to cover future tuition fees for the young daughter of the late George Floyd, as well as donating over $2 million to charity.
West also joined protesters in Chicago to rally against Floyd’s death. He joined Chicago Public Schools students to protest, as well as demanding that CPS cancel their contract with the Chicago Police Department.