Trevor Noah Stirs Debate Over Whether We Should ‘Cancel’ Or ‘Counsel’ Kanye West Amid Grammys Ban

Does he deserve a platform?

Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Trevor Noah YouTube

Following the news that Kanye West has been barred from performing at this year’s Grammy Awards, fans and followers have been divided over the award show’s reaction to the rapper.

One voice of reason in the ongoing debate around what the Grammys have labeled West’s “concerning online behavior,” has been Trevor Noah.

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The comedian and this year’s Grammys host, who last week became a target of West’s abuse, has now called for a less restrictive response to the rapper’s actions.

Noah tweeted to clarify that he wanted to “counsel” West, not “cancel” him.

As fans argue over the implications of West’s words and the reactions to him, Noah and The Grammys have seemingly taken different stances on the Kanye Problem.


Did Kanye West deserve to be barred from The Grammys?

Noah’s comments raise a complicated debate.

The “Daily Show” host was quick to condemn West last week over his treatment of ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend, Pete Davidson.

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Noah addressed the concept of a tabloid story becoming real to millions of Americans and how we shouldn’t sit idly until something unspeakable happens and is something that is currently happening to millions of women around the world.

West is abusing and harassing Kardashian, and Noah wanted to shine a light on it to tell people that they should care, even bringing up his past experiences in an abusive household.


When West hit back and Noah with a racist response, Noah once again crafted the perfect reaction to the disgraced rapper.

“You’re an indelible part of my life Ye,” he wrote on Instagram. “Which is why it breaks my heart to see you like this.”

He attributed West’s use of racial epithets to racists who only wish to divide Black people, saying that they taught black people to “strip each other of our Blackness whenever we disagree.”

It seemed as though Noah had nothing for kind words and compassion for West, ending the post by saying he hoped they would laugh about this one day.


But it seems as if the backlash West has received isn’t exactly what Noah had in mind.

That said, just because Noah has the right to forgive West for what he said to him, that doesn’t mean The Grammys ought to give West an opportunity to strike again.

In a world in which opinions, thoughts, and reactions can be shut down in an instant thanks to so-called cancel culture, where do we draw the line?

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The Grammys are not wrong to want to exclude a known abuser from their award show but, in Noah’s eyes, this may not give West the “counseling” he needs.


Do we risk emblazoning West even more by ostracizing him from the award show? Maybe.

But do The Grammys have to tip-toe around a man who has spent the last number of months using every public platform he has to taunt, harass and abuse his ex-wife, her new boyfriend, and everyone who tries to defend them? 

Fans and critics have pointed out that Kanye West appears to be ‘uncancelable.’

All while Instagram has been restricting his account and the Grammys have banned the rapper from their award show, West is continuing to dominate the music industry.

The rapper currently has 10 different projects on the Spotify album chart even without releasing his most recent album on the streaming platform.


There may be no stopping West’s career, nor should anyone necessarily try to. An artist has a right to create. 


But what the Grammys and Instagram might achieve by silencing the rapper, or at least putting him on mute for now, is slowing the dangerous rhetoric of abuse that comes with West’s success.

Fans can still listen to his music, the rapper is even still eligible to win a Grammy.

But we shouldn’t give someone a platform to target and harass others, no matter how good their music is.

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​​Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.