Kanye West hired noted public relations firm Rubenstein Communications to coach him for his controversial appearance on the Today show last week, but the relationship has been terminated, the New York Times reported. Sunday night, West confirmed via Twitter that the paper’s report was correct.
“NY Times has a pretty accurate account of the way the whole Today Show thing went down,” West tweeted. “Good job guys!”
The Today interview — in which Kanye said he didn’t have the basis to call former president George W. Bush a racist in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — was condemned by West before it had even aired Wednesday. He said host Matt Lauer “tried to force my answers”; the show aired extended segments from the interview on Thursday that showed West may have been exaggerating.
According to the Times report, West’s reps contacted the Today show last Monday after Bush’s reaction to his comments began to circulate. West had reached out to Rubenstein’s firm, whose clients include Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump, for assistance.
But after Bush’s interview aired on Monday, neither West’s representatives for Rubenstein felt a response was necessary and decided to cancel the appearance. Then, on Tuesday morning, West’s team said that he would do the interview after all. His coach at Rubenstein was initially not aware of the re-booking and was forced to hurry to NBC’s studios to meet West there.
However, West became flustered during the interview when video footage, first of Bush’s response and then of West’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards, was aired.
West tweeted on Friday that contrary to Matt Lauer’s announcement on Thursday, he will not be performing on the Today show later this month.