The New York Times has canceled a discussion on mental health that featured Kanye West and radio host Charlamagne tha God, who wrote on Instagram Monday that the event would have been “a total distraction.”
The Times Talk had been slated to take place Oct. 17 in New York, but Charlamagne wrote that the he felt the conversation he “really wanted to have” with West “would not be productive” right now.
West has “been so vocal about his own mental health struggles,” Charlamagne wrote. “Unfortunately I think to have that conversation with him right now would not be productive and a total distraction from the point of the convo which is to eradicate the stigma of mental health especially in the black community.”
Both Charlamagne and West have been open about their struggles with mental health, which is still heavily stigmatized within the black community. In a Men’s Health essay published in May, the radio host detailed living with crippling anxiety from a young age. He urged everyone ― especially black men ― to see a therapist.
“I think black men especially should go to therapy and seek out mental help because we need it,” Charlamagne wrote. “Even if you don’t think you need it, we need it. I walked into Walgreens the other day and it’s by a school, so a lot of kids in there shoplift. I walk in and I felt eyes on me. I’m just going in to get some protein powder!”
West opened up about his 2016 hospitalization, which he said he prefers to call a “breakthrough” and not a “breakdown,” during an interview with Charlamagne in April.
“Being in competition with so many elements at one time,” West said of his hospitalization. “On a race against time, your age, you’re getting old, race against popularity on the radio. ”
Though the two public figures have bonded over their experiences with mental health issues, Charlamagne and West hold starkly different political views.
“Kanye West does not represent all black people,” Charlamagne told MSNBC ahead of West’s eyebrow-raising meeting with President Donald Trump last week. “I’m black and I don’t support Donald Trump in any way, shape or form.”
The Times noted on its website that the event had been canceled because both Charlamagne and West backed out.
A representative for West did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.