Kanye West

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

What was the accusation?

On September 13, 2009, rap and hip-hop artist Kanye West upstaged country singer Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards when he snatched the microphone from her during her acceptance speech for Best Female Video and shouted to a stunned audience: “Taylor, I’m really happy for you. I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time! West’s on-stage stunt triggered widespread public criticism against him from celebrities and fans alike. Booed off stage and asked to leave the awards ceremony, West later apologized to Swift via his blog. He then offered another apology as part of his appearance on the premiere of The Jay Leno Show, followed by a more personal and direct apology via phone to Swift.    

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Transcendence, Bolstering, Corrective Action



“Yeah, it’s been extremely difficult just dealing with the fact that I hurt someone or took anything away, you know, from a talented artist or from anyone ’cause I only wanted to help people, you know. My entire life, I’ve only wanted to give and do something that I felt was right. And I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong and it wasn’t a spectacle it’s actually someone’s emotions, you know, that I stepped on. It was very it was rude, period. And, you know, I’d like to be able to apologize to her in person, and, you know, I’m going to do.

“Obviously, you know I deal with hurt, and, you know, so many, you know, celebrities, they never take the time off, and I’ve never taken the time off to really music after music and tour after tour and tour, and I’m just ashamed that my hurt caused, you know, someone else’s hurt my dream of what award shows were supposed to be And I don’t try to justify it because I was just in the wrong [indistinct]. That’s a period. But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I’m going to, you know, make it through the rest of this life, how I’m going to improve because I am a celebrity, and that’s something I have to deal with. And if there’s anything I could do to help Taylor [Swift] in the future, or help anyone I want to live this thing, it’s hard, you know      


Duke, A. (2009, September 15). Kanye West calls Swift with ‘sincere apology.’ CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/15/kanye.west.apology/index.html?iref=nextin

Itzkoff, D. (2009, September 15). Kanye West Apologizes Again on ‘Jay Leno.’ The New York Times. Retrieved from https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/15/kanye-west-apologies-again-on-jay-leno/?_r=0

Kreps, D. (2009, September 13). Kanye West storms the VMAs stage during Taylor Swift’s speech. Rolling Stone. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kanye-west-storms-the-vmas-stage-during-taylor-swifts-speech-20090913

Kung, M. (2009, September 13). Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift at 2009 VMAs; Beyonce saves the day. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2009/09/13/kanye-west-interrupts-taylor-swift-at-vmas/

Swash, R. (2009, September 14). Kanye West apologises for interrupting Taylor Swift at VMAs. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/sep/14/kanye-west-taylor-swift-vmas