Don McLean Calls Kanye West an ‘Attention-Seeking Fool’ Over Antisemitic Rants

“American Pie” singer Don McLean has added his name to the list of artists calling out Kanye West for the rapper’s recent barrage of antisemitic hate speech. The singer released a statement on Friday (oct. 28) strongly condemning Ye (as the MC is now known) for a weeks-long series of interviews in which West has repeatedly made comments disparaging of the Jewish people, actions that have resulted in Kanye losing nearly every aspect of his once-formidable music and fashion empire.

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“Lately a flood of antisemitic invective has been triggered by the ranting of a stupid attention-seeking fool we all know,” McLean wrote in the statement that did not mention Ye by name. “I want to say I stand with my Jewish friends and I stand with the state of Israel. When this kind of thing happens we should realize why the state of Israel must be respected and protected.”

McLean noted that he lived in Israel on-and-off from 1978-1982 and he “grew to love the country and the people. Living there changed my life forever.” The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks antisemitic behavior in the U.S. recently reported that there were 2,717 antisemitic incidents in 2021, a 34 percent rise from the year before for an average of more than seven such attacks per day.

The Washington Post reported this week that longtime watchdogs of antisemitism say the type of overtly derogatory comments made recently by Ye — as well as former president Donald Trump — are not new, but that the unapologetic manner in which they’ve been delivered in public forums is concerning at a time when incidents of harassment, vandalism and violence against Jews is at its highest level in the U.S. since the 1970s.

“Empirically, something is different. The level of public animosity towards Jews is higher than it’s been in recent memory,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL told the paper. “While at a generalized level, antisemitic attitudes have dropped, the incidents have risen because there is less shame. People feel they can say and do anything.”

Over the past several weeks West has been on a bizarre media tour in which he has doubled and tripled-down on comments disparaging Jews after already raising eyebrows by promoting a “White Lives Matter” shirt at his recent Paris Fashion Week show. As a result, over the past week West has been dropped by his reps at CAA, lost partnerships with Adidas, The Gap and Balenciaga, had his Essentials playlist pulled from Apple Music, his products taken off shelves at TJ Maxx and was cut off by Foot Locker. The end of the Adidas deal will reportedly result in a $246 million loss for the company this year and is believed to be the linchpin in Ye’s loss of billionaire status.

In further blows to the once-esteemed rapper’s tattered public image, he was unceremoniously escorted out of the Skechers office on Tuesday (Oct. 26) after showing up “uninvited,” even as his wax figure was removed from Madame Tussauds London and his Donda Academy basketball team was bounced from a tournament over his hate speech.

Lately a flood of antisemitic invective has been triggered by the ranting of a stupid attention-seeking fool we all know. I want to say I stand with my Jewish friends and I stand with the state of Israel. When this kind of thing happens we should realize why the state of Israel must be respected and protected.