You know you shouldn’t, but you may well do it. Kanye West knew he shouldn’t have, and ended up apologizing for it. His transgression? Using a smartphone during a theater show.
It happened at the opening night of The Cher Show on Broadway in New York City on Monday, December 3, and the way he was called out for it was pretty spectacular.
Actor Jarrod Spector, who plays Sonny Bono in the new musical, spotted West, who was in attendance with wife Kim Kardashian, fiddling about on his phone during the performance.
From backstage, during the show, Spector tweeted the entertainer, telling him: “If you look up from your cell phone, you’ll see we’re doing a show up here. It’s opening night. Kind of a big night for us. Thanks so much.”
— Jarrod Spector (@jarrodspector) December 4, 2018
West representative later told the New York Times that rather than checking his social media feeds or setting up another meeting with the president, West was merely “taking notes,” adding, “He loved the show and was incredibly impressed by the production.”
A few hours later, West hit Twitter to apologize, asking the cast to “please pardon my lack of etiquette.”
the dynamics of Cher and Sonny’s relationship made Kim and I grab each other’s hand and sing “I got you babe”
please pardon my lack of etiquette. We have so much appreciation for the energy you guys put into making this master piece.
— ye (@kanyewest) December 4, 2018
At the end of the night, Spector declined to comment on the incident, but The Cher Show issued a short statement, saying simply: “We are happy Kanye enjoyed the show.”
West’s indiscretion highlights the ongoing issue of gadget use by audience members during theater shows and other live performances.
Despite polite requests to turn off all electronic devices prior to the curtain going up, it seems that some folks still can’t resist whipping out their phone, whether to check Instagram, surf the web, or record those on stage.
In one bizarre incident over the summer, two women in the front row of a performance of Titanic: The Musical in Nottingham, England, were called out for using their phones to follow a penalty shootout between England and Colombia in the quarter-finals of the World Cup soccer tournament. They even celebrated each England penalty success with an enthusiastic “yesss!” as well as a few fist pumps.
One of the show’s actors, Niall Sheehy, took to Twitter to explain what he’d seen, describing the two soccer fans as “the most ignorant audience members I have ever had the misfortune to perform in front of.”
In other similar incidents, Kevin Spacey once told an audience member whose phone was ringing, “If you don’t answer that, I will.” And a few years back Benedict Cumberbatch pleaded with fans to stop recording him when he was on stage.