Akon is catching heat after suggesting rich and famous people have it much harder than the poor.
The Grammy-winning artist made the comments while addressing the recent death of Michael K. Williams, who died from a suspected drug overdose at age 54. Akon told TMZ that The Wire star was a really good friend and an overall “amazing person,” who faced hardships that many other celebrities are enduring behind closed doors.
“There’s just too many of us going down like that, and I think when moments like this happen we all gotta reflect, ’cause we’re all going through things in our lives, things that—making decisions that actually affect not only us and our life, but everyone that surrounds and looks up to us,” Akon said.
The singer told TMZ he had not seen Williams since the pandemic began, which made the tragedy more heartbreaking. Akon then emphasized the importance of reaching out to loved-ones and making sure they’re OK, saying many people—especially the rich and famous—are struggling in secret.
“You know, this business creates this, like, environment where everyone’s wearing a mask, no one tells you what’s really going on in your life, so real friends can’t even really advise you ’cause we don’t really know what’s happening,” he said. “’Cause we put on this facade of success but yet behind the face there’s so much happening. The famous and the rich go through more issues than the poor. You know when they say ‘More money, more problems,’ that’s a real thing.”
Akon also touched on substance abuse, and urged addicts to find healthier coping techniques; however, it was his comments about “rich people” issues that drew criticism online. Twitter users blasted the artist for being out-of-touch and tone-deaf, while others volunteered to take some of Akon’s money to help alleviate any problems he might be facing.
You can check out some of the reactions below.