Kanye West's Yeezy Season 4 Casting Call Caused Backlash Both On and Offline

"Multiracial women only."
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It's been a very busy weekend for Kanye West: He performed the first of two "Saint Pablo" concerts at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, while preparing for his fourth Yeezy presentation on Wednesday — the details of which have still not been announced to fashion press. And just like every other designer showing at New York Fashion Week, West started casting models for his presentation on Sunday, announcing the call with a tweet that stipulated "multiracial women only" and asked models to wear "no makeup please, come as you are." 

The vague request caused drama and confusion online, particularly since West's shows have been among the most diverse on the schedule in recent seasons. One woman at the casting — which took place at Jack Studios in Chelsea — carried a sign and painted the words "they want black features not black girls" on her torso (see above). Images of her on Instagram lead to what appears to be her Tumblr account, where she identifies herself as the protester and explains why she protested the casting. She writes: "This casting call for 'Multiracial ONLY' (not MULTIETHNIC which would still be fetishization) asserts that Black can only be beautiful when 'MIXED' with another RACE. There is a history of wanting to dilute the Blackness of one’s children because of the longstanding stigmatization of Blackness." Read the whole statement here.

Despite this sentiment, which was echoed by many on Twitter, hundreds of young hopefuls lined up for multiple blocks for the chance to get cast in West's latest Yeezy spectacle. How the rapper and fashion designer can top the Madison Square Garden event he produced in February is hard to imagine, but stay tuned. Yeezy Season 4 is nearly upon us. 

Homepage photo: JP Yim/Getty Images

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