Kanye West Retracts Negative Comments on Photographer Annie Leibovitz

Kanye West is back at it again, this time backtracking on recent comments he made about photographer Annie Leibovitz while speaking at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, claiming his remarks "have been taken out of context and sensationalized."

He told the conference, as quoted in Ad Age, that "Annie Leibovitz pulled out right before the wedding — maybe she was scared about the idea of celebrity. But I still wanted my wedding photos to look like Annie Leibovitz." He went on to explain that he spent four days setting up the Instagram shot "to get the colors right."

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In a joint statement the two put out this morning, West insists his frustration was over the fact "he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding [but] he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way."

The release, issued by West's Def Jam label svp media and creative development Gabe Tesoriero this morning, goes on to say, "Kanye and Annie's representatives were in negotiations for weeks that were not completed by the time of the wedding."

"Annie would have been happy to do the portrait, but she was never confirmed," said a representative for Leibovitz.

Kanye insisted it was his "dream" to bring together his favorite creatives for the wedding  — Ricardo Tisci on the dress; Vanessa Beecroft on the experience; and Andrea Bocelli, who is Kim's favorite singer, singing Kim's favorite song as she walked down the aisle.

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"The first choice to capture one of the most special days in Kim and Kanye's life: Annie Leibovitz — the legendary photographer responsible for Kim and Kanye's recent Vogue cover — is not known to shoot weddings. But Kanye West dreams big. He loves and respects Annie as a true artist and wanted to bring her eye for beauty to the imagery of the event. In his Cannes Lions panel with Steve Stoute and tech guru godfather Ben Horowitz, Kanye was referencing Annie as an example of how to merge culture and tech." 

"Picture this," said Kanye. "The most-liked Instagram photo of all time, shot by Annie Leibowitz. Oh, I'm sorry for dreaming out loud. Again."

  • This article originally appeared in THR.com.


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