*Perhaps until Sunday’s “MTV Video Music Awards,” Kanye West’s most memorable unscripted moment had to be from NBC’s “Concert for Hurricane Relief,” a fundraiser that took place four days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans ten years ago.
Expected to read whateaver was on the teleprompter alongside actor Mike Myers, West instead blurted out, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
“I remember hearing the words that were coming out of his mouth and looking down at the script and [thinking], ‘this is not—this is not going well,’” Frank Radice, the show’s senior producer and musical director, told Slate’s Jeremy Stahl.
Producer Rick Kaplan decided to cut away from West after he went off-script.
“I’m in the control room and I’m running the show, and I’m sitting there going, ‘I don’t know how to cut this off,’ ” Kaplan said of the transition. While the cut was certainly jarring and looked at the time like it was prompted directly by the provocativeness of the Bush remark, Kaplan insists that he was just looking for a natural out in an extremely unusual situation.
The Kayne moment was edited out of the West Coast feed of the concert – a decision Kaplan now believes was wrong. “I think it should have been looked at as a news event,” he said.