When Kanye West closed the Billboard Music Awards on 16 May 2015 ABC censored more than a minute of the rapper’s performance, leaving some viewers to wonder if the sound had cut out.
Kanye West was onstage for 5 minutes and 18 seconds, though sound was only available to home viewers for 4 minutes and 16 seconds of his set.
After the show representatives of Kanye West issued a statement:
“Kanye West was grossly over-censored at the Billboard Music Awards. Non-profane lyrics such as “with my leather black jeans on” were muted for over 30 second intervals. As a result, his voice and performance were seriously misrepresented. It is ridiculous that in 2015, unwarranted censorship is something that artists still have to fight against. Although West was clearly set up to face elements beyond his control during the live broadcast, he would like to apologize to the television audience who were unable to enjoy the performance the way he envisioned.”
» Rolling Stone – 18 May 2015:
Kanye West Censored for Full Minute of Billboard Awards Performance
» Mirror – 18 May 2015:
Kanye West slammed for Billboard Music Awards performance: Rapper barely visible and repeatedly bleeped
» Fact – 20 May 2015:
Kanye West issues statement regarding Billboard Music Awards censorship