Kanye West appeared as the musical guest on the season opener of “Saturday Night Live” this weekend and, as expected, served up some controversy. West, whose recent support of President Trump has been a strong line in the sand for many of his fans, donned a red “Make America Great Again” hat in all of the promos for this week’s premier.
During the broadcast, however, he performed two songs without the hat, and with no apparent political statement. It wasn’t until the end of the show that an unexpected third song featured the Kanye performance viewers had held their breath to hear.
As the cast gathered for their traditional good nights, host Adam Driver handed the microphone back to West, who was once again wearing the red “Make America Great Again” hat. Kanye sang a third song, the soul-inspired “Ghost Town,” pointing to his hat while singing the lyrics, “This not what we had in mind.”
As the credits began to roll toward the end of the song, the live broadcast abruptly ended when the rapper began to speak to the crowd. Viewers at home were certain he had plenty to say, but NBC and SNL didn’t want to show it.
In the footage captured by various members of the audience, Kanye had quite a lot to say. Kanye began by addressing his red hat, which he held in his hand: “They bullied me backstage, they bullied me!” he said, “They said, ‘don’t go out there with that hat on.’”
Ye slid his hat back on and said coolly, “I’m going to put my Superman cape on, ‘cause this means you can’t tell me what to do.” He also called out the media, saying, “I think the universe has balance…90 percent of news are liberal…90 percent of TV, L.A., New York, writers, rappers, musicians…It’s easy to make it seem like it’s so, so, so one-sided.”
Speaking to a stunned and mostly liberal audience, he was met with mainly silence. There were a few confident sounds of applause, a few boos, and one “F-ck Trump!” Kanye addressed that by saying “If you want the world to move forward, try love.”
Turning back to the cast, he said, “I want to thank you for giving me this platform… I know some of y’all don’t agree, but y’all be going after the man… and I don’t actually think it’s that helpful.” It all amounted to about two minutes of extra air time that could have added an iota of balance to a staggeringly liberal show.
SNL just cut off Kanye West – here is the rest of his performance.
— #WeAreAllBrettKavanaugh (@Military4Trump) September 30, 2018
The broadcast seemed to end sharply after 90 minutes of politically biased sketches meant to make conservatives look like fools, at best. Yet a Kanye in a red cap with a different opinion was deemed not fit to air. Yes, the broadcast had reached its time limit, but NBC could have chosen to keep him on the air instead of cutting to whatever local programming was scheduled for 1 a.m. The Hulu version, which is how many fans will watch the show, is trimmed even further to remove evidence of Kanye’s political rant.
SNL has aired live all across the country since the end of its 42nd season, but continues to rebroadcast the show at 11:30 p.m. on the West Coast for those who would like to watch during its original timeslot.
Of the decision to broadcast live across the nation for the first time, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt told The Daily Beast last year, “SNL, enjoying its most popular season in two decades, is part of the national conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the West and Mountain time zones live at the same time it’s being seen in the East and Central time zones. That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time.”
It also means that “Saturday Night Live” is aired either live or in re-run from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the West Coast every Saturday. However, nowhere in that four and a half hour block, apparently, is there room in the “national conversation” for anyone with a non-progressive mind.
Finishing up his statements Saturday night, Kanye softly sang, “I thought this country said that I could be me,” before rapping with the band and finally leaving the stage. Well, you can be you, Kanye, just not on “Saturday Night Live.”
this represents good and America becoming whole again. We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love pic.twitter.com/a15WqI8zgu
— ye (@kanyewest) September 30, 2018