Kanye West once praised “Hitler and the Nazis” during an interview with TMZ, an ex-staffer at the site has claimed.
Van Lathan, who’s now the host of the Higher Learning podcast, said he wasn’t surprised by West’s recent antisemitic comments while recalling the time TMZ sat down with the rapper in 2018.
It was in that same conversation that Ye expressed controversial views on slavery, which resulted in a backlash.
“I’ve already heard him say that [antisemitic] stuff before,” Lathan explained (via the Independent).
“I mean, I was taken aback because that type of antisemitic talk is disgusting. But as far as him, I knew that that was in him because when came to TMZ, he said that stuff and they took it out of the interview.”
“If you look at what I said at TMZ, it goes from me saying like, ‘Hey Kanye, there’s real-life, real-world implication to everything that you just said there’,” Lathan remembered.
“What I say after that – if I can remember, it’s been a long time – was, ’12million people actually died because of Nazism and Hitler and all of that stuff’, and then I move on to talk about what he said about slavery.”
He continued: “The reason they took [Lathan’s Holocaust reference] out is because it wouldn’t have made sense unless they kept in Kanye saying he loved Hitler and the Nazis, which he said when he was at TMZ. He said something like, ‘I love Hitler, I love Nazis’. Something to that effect.”
Last Sunday (October 9) West had both his Twitter and Instagram accounts suspended after sharing antisemitic posts on the two platforms. A spokesperson from Twitter told BuzzFeed News that “the account in question [had] been locked due to a violation of Twitter’s policies”.
Responding to West’s recent remarks, Lathan said: “When I saw this, I was like, ‘Oh, I knew that this was eventually coming’. As a matter of fact, I had anticipated it coming, like, way earlier than this.”
Lathan claimed that viewers can see where the alleged part of the TMZ appearance was removed: “If you go back and watch that clip, I say what I say and there’s a cut right there.
“People might think they stitched this together to make me seem more eloquent. But they stitched it together to take out my reference to the Holocaust.”
Many artists, celebrities, politicians and organisations have since publicly condemned West over his comments, including Jack Antonoff, David Schwimmer and New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.