On Wednesday evening, fans noticed that Pete’s verified account — which had amassed millions of followers in the week it’d been active — had disappeared from the platform entirely.
Having remained low-key with his use of the account, Pete was following just a handful of people — including Kim Kardashian, who he’s been dating since late October.
Some fans were caught off guard by Pete’s sudden decision to step away from the platform, given that just hours earlier, he’d shared a post welcoming users to his page and teasing what people could expect from his future posts.
Uploading a short video to his page, Pete gave his followers a sneak peek behind the scenes of his upcoming movie, The Home.
“They’re letting me add my own dialogue to The Home,” he captioned the clip, alongside the hashtags “#welcometomyinstagram #thisisthetypeofstuffyoucanbeexpecting.”
Despite Pete’s excitement, however, his comments were quickly flooded with several harsh messages from fans of Kanye West, who’s been calling the Saturday Night Live comic out online for weeks.
According to screenshots circulating online, some of the top comments under Pete’s post read “find god” and “SKETE,” a nickname coined by Kanye amid a recent flurry of Instagram posts shared to mock the actor.
In fact, many have guessed that Pete’s sudden disappearance from the social media site has everything to do with the ongoing discord between him and Kanye, who legally changed his name to Ye last year.
As I’m sure you’re aware by now, Ye has publicly slammed Pete on a number of occasions, most notably accusing him of “destroying” his and Kim’s family.
For some context, Kim filed for divorce from Ye a year ago. During their marriage, and particularly since the split, they’ve repeatedly clashed over their different parenting styles while raising their four children: North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm.
In recent months — and coincidentally since Kim and Pete started seeing each other — Ye has been more and more vocal about his opposition to the divorce. He claimed he’d “never even seen” the legal papers back in November, while continuing to refer to the beauty mogul as his “wife” and making a series of grand gestures in a bid to win her back.
Most recently, Ye shared a post begging God to be reunited with Kim and their kids, before reportedly dismissing her request to move forward with the divorce proceedings.
And while feuding with his estranged wife online, Ye dragged Pete into things and accused him of coming between him and his children. He claimed that he’d been denied access to Kim’s house to see his children, alleging that “the new boyfriend” — aka Pete — had been inside at the time — a claim that was dismissed as false by sources close to Kim and Pete.
Ye went on to share a bunch of scathing posts labeling Pete — or, as Ye called him, “Skete” — “garbage,” “trash,” and a “dickhead,” while reposting fan-edited memes that mocked the SNL comedian.
And it was during this time that Pete decided to join Instagram.
Given that Pete previously stepped back from social media to protect his mental health from negative comments, many users noted that his timing with rejoining the platform seemed strange in light of Ye’s ongoing digs.
Some fans guessed that Pete had made his return to hit back at Ye, given that Kim issued her first — and only — statement addressing the matter a few weeks prior.
Well, while Pete didn’t end up following suit with a direct statement of his own, fans noticed that he did make a subtle change to his account that appeared to shade Ye.
Tweaking his bio to include a YouTube link, Pete pointed his followers toward a short clip from The King of Comedy, which showed character Rupert Pupkin saying: “Better to be king for a night than a schmuck for a lifetime.”
The comments section of the video — which was uploaded in 2016 — was quickly flooded with messages about Pete, with many users claiming that he was clearly “throwing shade” and “firing sneaky shots” at Ye, who remained silent on the matter.
But while the rapper didn’t address the apparent jibe from Pete, things took another turn on Tuesday night, when Ye debuted a bunch of new — and very pointed — lyrics at his Donda 2 album listening event in Miami.
Ye’s newly released music, which succeeds last August’s Donda, features a series of supposed digs toward his estranged wife and her boyfriend.
In his song “Security,” Ye repeatedly raps about putting someone’s “security at risk,” which many have interpreted as a threat toward either Pete or Kim.
“Pops home, I ain't getting frisked / I put your security at risk,” he says, presumably referring to himself as “Pops.”
He continues, “I walk in the crib, no getting frisk / Butt-naked in the kitchen cooking grits / Tell yo' mama, 'Come give me a kiss' / Security gon' need security for this.”
Arguably the most pointed dig comes later in the track when Ye raps, “Never stand between a man and his kids.”
“Never take the family picture off the fridge / Never stand between a man and his kids,” he says.
What’s more, Ye’s apparent threats come shortly after Kim seemingly condemned him for compromising Pete’s safety with his barrage of harsh Instagram posts.
Just last week, Ye leaked a bunch of messages from Kim, in which she urged her ex to stop encouraging violence against Pete after he asked fans to scream “KIMYE FOREVER” at him if they saw him in public.
“U are creating a dangerous and scary environment,” the text from Kim purportedly read. “Someone will hurt Pete and this will be all your fault.”
Ye then made more of their conversation public — much to Kim’s dismay — which saw the Skims founder, once again, voicing her concerns about the “dangerous people” that could hurt Pete.
“There are dangerous people out there and this is scary and it doesn’t have to be,” read the message.
And days prior, Ye shared (and quickly deleted) a private text he’d apparently received from Pete, too.
Seemingly trying to console the rapper, Pete’s message maintained that he wasn’t trying to come between Ye and his children. “I’d never get [in the] way of your children,” it read. “[That’s] a promise. How you guys [go about] raising your kids is [your business] and not mine. I do [hope one] day I can meet them and [we can] all be friends.”
But in spite of Pete’s efforts to be civil, Ye posted the photo online alongside the caption: “NO YOU WILL NEVER MEET MY CHILDREN.”