The Occupy Wall Street protest earned more prominent celebrity support Monday, as Kanye West and Russell Simmons showed up in Zuccotti Park.
Simmons announced Monday afternoon through Twitter that kanye west is on his way to #occupywallstreet. He subsequently tweeted that he walked @kanyewest thru the #occupywallstreet. I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd.
West's presence caused a buzz among the crowd and a buzz on Twitter. His appearance drew support and protest of its own, with one in the crowd calling out, There are no celebrities, just people, according to DNAinfo.com.
Simmons took to his own Twitter account to defend West against some of the backlash.
His presence matters. #occupywallstreet. Celebrity (sic) have no real value except to use it to help others.
West apparently did not perform at the protests. After causing the stir among the crowd, he left.
Largely, I felt the response was pretty mixed, protester Ben Fallah told Billboard. Some felt they were being opportunistic as a means to vault their own celebrity. Though in the case of Kanye West, I don't really think that's necessary.
Simmons, meanwhile, went on Al Sharpton's radio show in the park as West left the protest. Simmons, who according to CNNMoney has a net worth of $340 million, told Sharpton he would be willing to pay more in taxes as a member of the targeted one percent of the wealthiest Americans at whom the protests are aimed.
I'm happy to pay a little more taxes if it means better education for our children, Simmons said. I don't pay enough taxes and I know it.
He added that he hopes everyone is willing.
I want to write a check when everybody else does, Simmons said.
Also appearing on Sharpton's show were civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory and Harlem Rep. Charlie Rangel.
Celebrities like Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Penn Badgley have already lent their support to the protest.