Kanye West and the uncancellables

Kanye West belongs to a group of people who somehow transcend cancellation. He can praise Donald Trump, praise Candace Owens, suggest that black people are ‘mentally imprisoned’ by the legacy of slavery, and people will still buy his albums because, well, he’s Kanye West.

He is not the only one. Elon Musk, for example, can weather well-deserved disgrace for throwing out unsubstantiated charges of pedophilia, heavily understate the dangers of COVID-19, and make an amusing habit of publically trashing journalists, and people still admire him because, well, he’s Elon Musk. Finally, a first time novelist would be in danger of losing and publishers and agents for arguing that biology determines womanhood and that women’s spaces should be reserved for biological females but J.K. Rowling will publish for as long as she likes because, well, she’s J.K. Rowling.

Now, the last thing I am recommending is hero worship of these people, even if their achievements are impressive. Kanye is a stonking egotist with appalling taste. Musk can be recklessly immature. Rowling agrees with progressives on almost everything except trans issues.

Yet, from Donald Trump to Dave Chappelle, elements of the right have a bad habit of idealising anyone who agrees with them on anything.