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Kanye West’s Rejected HBO Pilot Has Leaked, And Wow, It’s Bad

20 June 2023 | 11:25 am | Ellie Robinson

West stars as himself, despite being as bad at acting as he is at keeping his mouth shut.

Kanye West

Kanye West (Source: Supplied)

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The Weeknd is currently being eaten alive by critics and fans alike over his godawful new show, The Idol, which crash-landed on HBO earlier this month. Shockingly, though, it’s not the worst pairing we’ve seen between a chart-topping artist and the network that gave us Game Of Thrones: that “honour” would be reserved for this newly leaked pilot episode of Kanye West’s show A Little Inappropriate.

According to the original leaker, YouTube user gearashi, the 29-minute pilot was ripped from the personal Vimeo account of acclaimed Borat director and Seinfeld writer Larry Charles. It’s unknown how long it was up there before anyone noticed, but Charles was unable to make it private before some digital samaritans ripped it, ensuring the masses could “appreciate” just how much of an unmitigated dumpster fire this show could’ve been.

The pilot opens with a gruelling six-minute scene of West – who stars as himself, despite being as bad at acting as he is at keeping his mouth shut – being driven to a fan event while his team yell into their bluetooth headsets. Once he makes it to the event, the now-disgraced rapper sits awkwardly through a series of chaotic encounters with admirers, culminating in an argument with a hater. We couldn’t bear to sit through any more than that, but if you’d consider yourself a braver soul (or have no self-respect), you can take a look at the pilot below.

The pilot episode for A Little Inappropriate was made in 2007, the same year West released his iconic Graduation album. This isn’t the first time it’s been seen by people outside of his or HBO’s teams, though: in 2013, cast member Wyatt Cenac screened it for attendees at one of his standup comedy shows. Cenac stars in the pilot as West’s cousin, K.C. (which incredibly stands for Kanye’s Cousin).

Following the show, he told Vulture, “Kanye knew he wasn’t a good improviser. He’d read something that [Jerry] Seinfeld said about surrounding himself with better talent and that he would rise to the occasion. And so that was his hope.” HBO obviously passed on the pilot, and West (thankfully) did not go on to pursue a career in scripted television. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for The Idol and The Weeknd.

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Last month, Adidas revealed plans to offload its $1.2 billion worth of unsold Yeezy shoes, announcing that a majority of its profits would be shared amongst two very relevant charities: the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute For Social Change. The latter charity was founded by the brother of George Floyd – a Black man murdered in an act of police brutality in 2020, who West made inflammatory comments about last year. 

West’s fall from grace spanned much of the last few months in 2022, starting with his “White Lives Matter” stunt at a Yeezy fashion show. He was later booted off Instagram and Twitter – multiple times each – for inciting violence and spreading hateful, bigoted rhetoric. The disgraced rapper’s record label also dropped him last October, as did virtually every other company he had ties to.