Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kanye West’s Private School for Children Closes Abruptly, Not Unlike Will Smith’s Former School


Here’s a lesson for everyone: do not send your kids to wonky private schools created by celebrities.

The London Times reports that Kanye West’s Donda Academy has shut down abruptly. The school is in Los Angeles’s Simi Valley and costs $15,000 a year. The Donda Academy was famous making its students sing praise to Kanye’s dead mother every morning at assembly.

When West’s antisemitism scandal broke two weeks ago the head of the school quit. Since the parents are bound by NDA’s they haven’t spoken, but without administrators and possibly teachers the school had to shut down. The remaining administrator says they’ll be back in September 2023, but I doubt it. By then Kanye will be absolutely broke and this school will be a distant memory.

For the parents, though, this has to be a nightmare– switching schools after two months into the new year. Any parents who want to talk to me in confidence, please email me at

This situation is not unlike how Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s neo-Scientology school, New Village Academy, shut down in 2012. That school actually made it for three or four years before the whole thing collapsed in educational rubble.

Meantime, West — instead of apologizing or demonstrating contrition, has been mocking his critics over the last several hours on social media. Also, he tried to visit the Skechers headquarters yesterday to try and replace Adidas after they bailed on him. They very publicly kicked him out. Kanye is in a free fall now, having lost most of his income in one day.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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