LeVar Burton Hopes Kanye West ‘Shares a Different Message’ With Students at His School About Reading

You don’t have to take LeVar Burton’s word for it, but the intergalactic actor and legendary book lover shared his belief this week that reading is fundamental. The former Reading Rainbow host did so after Kanye West (who now goes by Ye) revealed on the Alo Mind Full podcast that not only does he not read books, but he never has and considers them to be as nasty as everyone’s least favorite veggie.

In a tweet on Monday (Sept. 19) that began with an eyes-wide-open emoji, Burton wrote, “Hmmm… I’m going have to take Mr. West at his word. I hope however, that he shares a different message with the children enrolled in the school he’s founded named after his mother, who was an professor of English. I’m fairly certain she read a book or two.”

Burton’s tweet linked to a HuffPo story about Ye boldly declaring his disdain for the written word. “When you said ‘I hadn’t read this book,’ I actually haven’t read any book,” Ye told the podcast. “Reading is like eating Brussels sprouts for me. And talking is like getting the Giorgio Baldi corn ravioli.” 

The admission from Ye came amid news last week that West’s recently opened Donda Academy in Simi Valley, California — which is named after his late educator mother — is cloaked in secrecy when it comes to what goes on behind closed doors at the Christian prep school. Though reading is not mentioned, the school’s site says it places a strong emphasis on writing as part of a daily schedule that begins with a “full school worship,” followed by language arts, math and science classes, lunch/recess and enrichment courses including world language, visual art, film, choir and parkour.

Rolling Stone also reported that the school asks parents to sign an “informal” non-disclosure agreements for the reportedly as-yet-unaccredited institution.

See Burton’s tweet below.