Marilyn Manson appears on Kanye West’s new album Donda, making a mockery of the idea of ‘cancel culture’

Marilyn Manson
(Image credit: Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

Currently facing multiple lawsuits accusing him of rape, sexual assault and violent abuse from former partners and his long-time personal assistant, Marilyn Manson makes a guest appearance on the new Kanye West album, Donda, making a mockery of the idea that ‘cancel culture’ exists.

The singer appears on a track titled Jail Pt 2, on which he is given a co-writing credit, joining the rapper to sing the lyric “Guess I’m going to jail tonight”. The same song, viewed as West’s comment on ‘cancel culture’, also features an appearance from rapper DaBaby, who was dropped from US festival bills this summer after making homophobic comments. Both men appeared alongside West at a launch event for the album in Chicago on August 26.

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Manson was dropped by his record label, Loma Vista, in February after numerous women came forward alleging that the singer raped, sexually assaulted, beat and harassed them: former partners Esme Bianco and Ashley Morgan Smithline are among those who have filed lawsuits against Manson. More than a dozen other women, including Manson’s former partner Evan Rachel Wood, have accused the singer of sexual abuse.

At the time, the label said: “In light of today’s disturbing allegations by Evan Rachel Wood and other women naming Marilyn Manson as their abuser, Loma Vista will cease to further promote his current album effective immediately. Due to these concerning developments, we have also decided not work with Marilyn Manson on any future projects.”

Loma Vista is distributed by the Universal Music Group, who are also the parent company for Kanye West’s label, G.O.O.D. Music. 

Given that just six months ago Manson was said to have been “cancelled”, the singer’s appearance on the album has, understandably, attracted criticism.

“West has aligned himself with a man whom at least 15 women have accused of rape, sexual assault, grooming, assault, torture, physical and psychological abuse,” writes Roisin O’Connor in The Independent. “He stood on his late mother’s porch with Manson, sang with him, openly mocking those women who were brave enough to come forward. Critics often have to remind themselves to review the music, not to get caught up in the hyperbole or controversy surrounding the artist. But by involving Manson, West has made this impossible.”

Curiously, Kanye West has claimed that Universal have “blocked” Jail Pt 2, despite the fact that the song already has nearly two million plays on YouTube and Spotify, who will also be making substantial profits by promoting Manson’s appearance on the track.

As on countless occasions in the past, the music industry has once again demonstrated that, in its eyes, making money remains a far greater priority than morality or women’s rights.

Following Manson’s appearance at the Donda album launch in Chicago on August 26, Evan Rachel Wood posted a video on Instagram, showing her performing New Radicals You Get What You Give in a Hollywood club, and raising a middle finger when Manson’s name crops up in the song’s lyric.

“For my fellow survivors who got slapped in the face this week,” Wood wrote alongside the video. “I love you. Don't give up.”

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