Would-be billionaire Kanye West wants a cut of paparazzi revenue.
The 44-year-old artist explained his position on Saturday during a meeting with photographers in Miami. Ye told dad he wanted celebrities to take more control over their looks – and one way to do that was to make sure each star got a percentage of the money from paparazzi photos and interviews.
“Right now you can shoot all of us without having to pay. I will change that,” he said as he left the airport. “I’m not saying it in a negative way. It’s just like, right now, it’s really one-sided. You can follow us, you can stay up [outside] a hotel at some point – you don’t give us any percentage of what you do with us, our children, and I’m going to change that.
Kanye went on to explain that he owns his image and is therefore entitled to some of the money his image makes.
“We all have to make money together… It can’t be a one-sided thing,” he said. “Look, if I’m fair to my kids, I’m saying I don’t want you to shoot me, so it’s just something that you all have to respect… We can put this money together, but we have to have a conversation.”
Ye then acknowledged that current laws allow paparazzi to take photos of celebrities without permission, as long as the photos are taken in a public place. But Ye seeks to change that.
“I’m going to make sure we get our rights…” he said. “We are also real people.”
He then referenced his altercation with Justin Poplawski, a 40-year-old autograph-seeker who was allegedly punched by Kanye in Los Angeles this month. Ye, who has been named the prime suspect in the battery investigation, told the paparazzi on Saturday that Poplawski was not a fan, but rather someone just trying to make money from his name.
“I respect your work. My dad was a newspaper photographer…I love the paparazzi,” he said. “But as Americans, we have to respect each other. We need to bring pride back to this country.
You can hear Kanye’s full comments below.