Jeen-yuhs director Clarence “Coodie” Simmons said he “turned the camera off” while Kanye West was running for President of the United States in 2020.
West, who changed his name to Ye last year, ran as an independent candidate but only qualified for ballot access in 12 states. He received over 60,000 votes, and conceded defeated on November 4, 2020.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra, Simmons said he stopped filming during Ye’s campaign because it “felt uncomfortable” despite the artist never asking him to.
“The time I got back with him when he was running for president, I decided to turn the camera off,” Simmons said. “I could have kept the camera rolling, anybody else would have kept the camera rolling and gone to TMZ straight after and probably got a million dollars for what I shot, but that’s my brother.”
He added: “I put the camera down so I could pay attention to what was going on and make sure everything was going to run smoothly. And I never shot that side of Kanye. It just felt uncomfortable.”
In a first-look review of the first episode of jeen-yuhs, NME wrote: “Judging by the sympathetic ‘Act I’ of jeen-yuhs, though, Coodie & Chike’s mini-docs will present a more modest version of Ye than we’ve seen for a while.”
Simmons and his co-director Chike Ozah recently confirmed they denied Kanye West’s request to have “final edit and approval” of the documentary, saying it is “not best for the filmmaking”.