If there was such a thing as a Kanye West doll its instructions for operation might go something like this: (1) Take foot; (2) Open mouth; (3) Insert foot into mouth; (4) Repeat. After all, has there been a celebrity in recent memory that repeatedly “steps in it” like he has over the past year? From the Taylor Swift debacle at the 2009 VMAs to, more recently, publicly accusing former President Bush of racism to his current feud with the Today Show, one can’t help but wonder: What is he thinking? And, is his image repairable?
Evidently in the wake of the Bush comments and in advance of the Today Show appearance, West had hired a media relations consultant, who, according to news reports, lasted just a couple of days (it’s not clear who fired whom). Judging by his ongoing travails (including a series of “explanatory” Twitter posts that he later deleted), he seems to be making it up as he goes along rather than looking before he leaps.
What should Kanye West do next? First, he needs to think long and hard about his image – who he wants to be and how he wants to be portrayed – and then think about it some more. Does he aspire to be a spokesperson or activist for his generation or race? If so, he has failed miserably in his chosen issues, venues and overall timing.
Normally after you apologize for a particular transgression it is advisable to keep your mouth shut and behave if not disappear entirely for a time. Then, when you do reemerge, it is vital that you conduct yourself with proper decorum, demonstrating you have turned over a new leaf. The old adages: ‘time heals all wounds’ and ‘people are forgiving’ can come to bear IF you play the game the right way. With a new album about to break, Kanye is here to stay for the time being. If he wants to stick around for a career, he’s better come out with a new workout plan – and fast.