BBC announces the release of a new documentary and podcast on Kanye West
Kanye West’s “rollercoaster life and career” will be the focus of a new BBC documentary, which will be followed by a podcast. We Need To Talk About Kanye will air on BBC Two and will be hosted by investigative journalist Mobeen Azhar, who initially did The Battle For Britney, an award-winning documentary on Britney Spears’ conservatorship in 2021.
Describing the project in a recent press statement, the BBC wrote: “Unfolding against the backdrop of Ye’s 2024 election campaign, and at a time when his behavior has sparked outrage and a re-evaluation of his place in popular culture, this one-off documentary follows Mobeen as he attempts to understand the complex journey that led Ye to become one of the most famous and creatively successful artists of his generation. But more recently, to condemnation and notoriety.”
An accompanying eight-part podcast series, The Kanye Story, will feature discussions with special guests “who can bring an insight into Kanye’s life and dig deeper into his place in culture; starting with the early stratospheric success to the condemnation of later years”. While no broadcast date has been set, the BBC has stated that We Need To Talk About Kanye and The Kanye Story will be available “in the coming months.”
The documentary is well-timed. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an international Jewish NGO, issued a study last week tying West’s recent anti-semitic outburst to 30 other hate acts in the U.S alone. “These incidents — which include vandalism, banner drops, targeted harassment, and campus propaganda distributions — demonstrate the ongoing influence of Ye’s conspiratorial, bigoted rants,” the ADL wrote.
The report also observes that “immediately following Ye’s antisemitic comments,” which included “inflammatory tropes about Jewish power and Holocaust denial”, a slogan reading “Ye is Right” began cropping up on anti-semitic accounts online. West was recently named ‘Antisemite Of The Year’ by the watchdog group StopAntisemitism, having previously tweeted that planned to go “death con 3 [sic] On JEWISH PEOPLE”.