Why Kanye West Has Reportedly Been Removed From The Grammys' Performance Lineup

Kanye West is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
(Image credit: ABC)

The 2022 Grammys have already been marked by major developments, and it's looking like more are still on the way ahead the April 4 showcase. For starters, there was behind-the-scenes drama involving Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo over the latter’s album credits. Then rumors began swirling that, given their notorious history, something allegedly underhanded was afoot by Swift and Kanye West occupying major categories together – prompting a response from the Recording Academy itself. And now, West has reportedly been removed outright from the night’s performance lineup, reportedly over a very tense, ongoing situation.

A representative for the rapper confirmed to Variety that reports suggesting he was barred from performing (as initially intended, alongside the likes of Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X) are indeed true. The insider wouldn’t go into further details, only linked a story from The Blast to the outlet as a frame of reference. Their initial story cited the reason behind the Grammys’ decision was due to Kanye West’s “concerning online behavior” of late.

For context, the "On God" rapper was in fact suspended from his Instagram account for 24 hours straight earlier this week, with the social media company claiming that he violated its user policies concerning online harassment and hate speech. It is largely believed that his (since-deleted) posts provoking ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her current boyfriend, Pete Davidson, as well as using a racial slur against Trevor Noah (the official host of the Grammys) are what led to the suspension. And supposedly, Kardashian thinks it was totally “fair” to suspend her former partner from the app.

One who does not feel Kanye West deserves consequences for his online behavior is The Game, who was featured on the infamous Pete Davidson diss track. In a post on his Instagram, the two-time Grammy winner admonished the award show's latest decision on the performance lineup, speculating that Trevor Noah’s tenure as host had something to do with his collaborator's ousters or was blowback from West’s social media suspension, or perhaps both, and he isn’t happy about it. He wrote:

We’ll just say it’s all of the above & a continuous disrespect for us & all that we have brought to the table in entertainment, media & sports over the last 100 years especially. Speak your mind in this country for yourself, family or your people & you’re ostracized immediately & if you push them hard enough they will stop at no ends to try and put an end to you as a whole….

Though the oft-controversial rapper isn’t performing at the Grammys, he is still up for some major nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Rap Album for Donda. And if Ye should win, there's a firm chance that we’ll hear his take on recent events in live time, as Taylor Swift knows all too well. 

The 2022 Grammys air on April 3 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS and will be available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription. The show is a major event on the 2022 TV schedule.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.