If there was anyone who should be considered the “perfect” person to respond to Kanye West’s recently resurfaced opinions about reading, it’s Levar Burton. The beloved actor hosted the PBS Kids educational television series Reading Rainbow for more than 23 years from 1983 to 2006 and is pretty much the biggest advocate for reading and literacy there is. Upon seeing a headline touting Kanye’s claim to be repulsed by literature and comparison of books to brussels sprouts, Burton issued an empathetic and thoughtful response that nonetheless conveyed his disappointment in Kanye’s statements.
“I’m going have to take Mr. West at his word,” he wrote on Twitter. “I hope however, that he shares a different message with the children enrolled in the school he’s founded named after his mother, who was an professor of English. I’m fairly certain she read a book or two.”
Hmmm… I’m going have to take Mr. West at his word. I hope however, that he shares a different message with the children enrolled in the school he’s founded named after his mother, who was an professor of English. I’m fairly certain she read a book or two. #bydhttmwfi https://t.co/HVR0oKpsgf
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) September 19, 2022
He is, of course, referring to the recently launched and already controversial Donda Academy, which allegedly has parents sign NDAs while touting an advanced course of study for its hundred or so students. However, considering Kanye’s frankly half-assed approach to practically every other business venture he’s embarked on for the past six years, hopes aren’t high for the private school. It’s not even accredited yet.
Kanye recently reiterated his “proud non-reader of books” status on the podcast Alo Mind Full after being recommended a book by its host. “When you said ‘I hadn’t read this book,’ I actually haven’t read any book,” he asserted. ““Reading is like eating brussel sprouts for me. And talking is like getting the Giorgio Baldi corn ravioli.”