After spending more than 30 years in the music industry as an etiquette coach to the stars and the head of Double XXposure Media Relations, Angelo Ellerbee has little patience for badly behaved celebrities. So, you can imagine how he felt after witnessing Kanye West disrespect Taylor Swift at the MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday night.
As Swift was accepting the award for best female artist, West jumped on stage and snatched the microphone from her hand to express his disappointment that Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video had lost, leaving the young country singer stunned and on the verge of tears. Later, following her win for video of the year, Beyonce forfeited the spotlight so that Swift could finally give her acceptance speech.
We caught up with the openly gay Ellerbee -- who has worked with Michael Jackson, DMX, Alicia Keys, and Mary J. Blige, among others -- to find out his reaction to the brouhaha, what Kanye needs to do to survive this potentially career-killing move, and what everyone can learn from this distressing situation.
Here's a snippet:
Out: What did you think of Kanye's apology? Angelo Ellerbee: I question people's masculinity and manhood. Because if you can get in front of the world and embarrass that girl, you need to get back in front of the world and embarrass yourself. You need to get back on national television and do a PSA with [Swift] sitting there and talk about the importance of respect and play Aretha Franklin's record in the background and apologize like a man. Everyone is saying, "Is it the death of his mother? Is it..." -- no, it is not. He needs to take a maturity pill two times a day with a big glass of water and grow up. You're nobody's baby! You're 30-some years old! You've sold 70 million records! How are you going to come and take something from a baby? That was taking candy from a baby! This girl worked for it just like you work for it. Wrong!