When it came to celebrity power, Hillary Clinton had more of Hollywood on her side than Donald Trump. But one prominent, and perhaps surprising, star says he supported Trump over Clinton.
Rapper Kanye West was performing a show on his Saint Pablo Tour in San Jose, California Thursday night, when he paused the performance to give a politically-charged speech. It opened on him saying he would have voted for Trump.
“If I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted for Trump,” West told the crowd, prompting boos from members of a state that had overwhelmingly supported Clinton in the election.
Never miss a local story.
Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.
But West wasn’t deterred, saying that doesn’t mean he doesn’t support women’s rights, the Black Lives Matter movement and gay and lesbian rights. He added that he felt vindicated when Trump won, because as a black man and a celebrity he felt persecuted for supporting Trump.
Someone threw something at Kanye that hit him, he's now threatening to cancel the show. "Am I not allowed to have an opinion?"— Raptor (@RaptorJesuss) November 18, 2016
Then he continued with a statement possibly even more controversial.
“To black people, stop focusing on racism. This world is racist, OK?” West said. “Stop being distracted to focus on that as much. It’s just an (expletive) fact. We are in a racist country. Period.”
While this historic election didn't bring the U.S. its first female president, there were some other firsts. Explore the results, reaction and history of Election Day 2016. Nicole Cvetnic and Sohail Al-JameaMcClatchy
However, one Twitter user live-tweeting the 40-minute speech quoted West saying he was glad Trump “inspired racists to reveal themselves.”
West also reportedly shouted, “build the wall,” after finishing another song, referring to Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
West later reaffirmed he planned to run for president in 2020, but with a “different political model.”
Related stories from Sacramento Bee
Some on Twitter were surprised by West’s statements, though the rapper is known for being somewhat unpredictable. Many pointed to West’s statement in 2006 that former President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people,” to illustrate that the rapper has changed.
it's crazy because the old Kanye was going on live television saying "bush doesn't care about black people" to him NOW defending trump— mama africa (@thatgirlsalina) November 18, 2016
Kim Kardashian, who is married to West, announced before the election results that she supported Clinton.