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Kanye West’s Dancers Call Out Unacceptable Working Conditions At Donda 2 Event!

kanye west : dancers call out unacceptable working conditions at donda 2 listening event

Kanye West is once again being called out by some of the creatives he hired for his live show.

The complaints this time around concern the Donda 2 listening event in Miami, Florida on February 22. Allegations were collected by Taja Riley, a well-known advocate in the dance community who recently made headlines for calling out the Super Bowl’s mistreatment of dancers. Riley herself did not perform at the Donda 2 event but was alerted to the allegations because of her advocacy in the space.

Related: Whoa… Ye Literally BURIES Pete Davidson In New Video — Scary!

In a lengthy, carefully organized post on the subject, she explained that Ye’s team hired 300+ performers through a local agency called Frontrunner Casting. She wrote:

“I received over 39 testimonial statements with absolutely horrifying stories of their experience as a performer in this show. That includes learning that they were told to expect a payment sum of $150-$300 around 60-90 business days (with no paperwork documentation of this agreement) after working over 8 hours of athletic rehearsals in extraordinary risk circumstances and a 16+hour show day with only 1 meal provided!”

Whew. That is BAD.

Among the anonymous testimonials, allegations included disregard for dancers’ health conditions, “Absolutely ZERO covid protocol,” “no food or proper bathrooms, or proper compensation,” damages to personal property (specifically, phones that had been confiscated), hazardous conditions like exposed wires and being “surrounded by too many fumes,” amongst others. Here are just a few:

“We were required to wear head to toe black costumes for the duration of the day (while the holding area was outdoors in the SCORCHING HEAT). I emailed Chris, co-owner of Frontrunner Casting, about my concerns and was basically brushed off and told everyone could have left at any point if they were ‘uncomfortable.'”

“While on stage, I felt like i was going to faint so I was trying to get the attention of the Choreographers but failed to do so. Once I came off the stage, I fainted. They provided us with barely any food and they had us in the hot sun just standing up from 10am-11pm before show time (which started 3hrs late). When I asked if I may please go inside for some cool air, they yelled ‘NO!’. That was an awful experience!”

“We were forced to throw away all liquids and snacks including water — not okay for people like me who take daily medication. This directly contradicts instructions from the day prior — where we were told to bring our own snacks and water on site because we are only being provided dinner.”

“The porta potties were already filled and trashed before we arrived on site. When I asked our leaders for more toilet paper because I had my period, I was given a stack of napkins to use as toilet paper and a makeshift Pad.”

The complaints go on and on, and it sounds like a pretty hellish experience, TBH. Another dancer alleged:

“I’d told several staff earlier in the day that I had sickle cell and needed something cold to drink. They told me there was nothing they could do about it. … my Iron & sickle cell started to drop and act up from malnourishment. I’ve been on plenty of sets before but nothing like this one. I don’t blame Mr. West because I don’t think he knew what was going on, but I do hold his team and his crew accountable. Learn and grow from this mistake. Please Fix this.”

While we agree the rapper probably wasn’t personally involved in the mistreatment of these professionals, he is the man at the top of the food chain, so it’s his responsibility to make sure that his shows are being conducted safely and ethically. He hires the people who hire the people, etc, etc.

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Plus, this isn’t the first time he’s faced these kind of allegations. Members of the choir and other workers involved in his Sunday Service performances previously filed a class-action lawsuit over unpaid wages and poor conditions (including no meal or rest breaks and no overtime pay). If these dancers’ allegations are true, it reveals a very exploitative pattern on behalf of Ye and his team.

Taja shared a call to action in response to these allegations, writing in her caption:

“We hope for a formal apology to those who have been harmed (physically, mentally, emotionally or religiously) during this performance, provisions for appropriate and prompt compensation, reimbursement for damages, additional usage fees for other platforms they are utilizing the collective image of these Performers (without their permission) and liability insurance protections in place to follow up with those who need medical assistance.”

Yep, that seems like the least that Ye, his team, and Frontrunner Casting should do. We can’t imagine how disappointing it was to be hired on such an exciting project and then be treated so poorly. We know this is just one of Ye’s many controversies right now, but we hope he addresses this and makes things right.

Ch-ch-check out Taja’s full post (below):

[Image via MEGA/WENN/Avalon]

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Mar 03, 2022 12:48pm PDT