Date: September 2, 2005
The Moment: During a live telethon in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—a disaster of unprecedented proportion, both in physical scale and what was generally seen as the American government's failure to respond well to it—Kanye West went off-script and told the camera "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
The Impact: One half of the country labeled Kanye West a bigot, a racist, and an exploitative attention hog. The other half nodded its heads in agreement. Whichever side people took, however, it was undeniable that after that everything, from the debate about the government's response to Katrina to the debate about (A) the government's response to Hurricane Katrina and those affected by it as well as (B) the place celebrities have in the public forum, had changed forever.
The Upshot: George W. Bush later called that the low point of his presidency. Kanye apologized to Bush, later recording a lyric on Watch The Throne about raising his son as a Republican, "so everybody know he love white people." And poor, hapless Mike Myers, who was pleading for donations alongside Yeezy and was blindsided by the political statement, later vented to Kanye about the problems he caused him on a classic Saturday Night Live moment, and also, appeared with Myers as a friend of his in the classic Myers flop The Love Guru.