Bill Maher said a two-hour interview he had with rapper and businessman Kanye “Ye” West won’t see the light of day because he believes West is a “charming antisemite” he doesn’t want to provide a platform for.
The longtime political commentator sat down with West for a chat on his podcast “Club Random.” During an appearance on “TMZ Investigates,” a Fox docuseries that this week spotlighted West with an episode titled “Unhinged but Unstoppable,” Maher said he thought the conversation would provide them both with better understanding, but that showed to be a failure.
“We were here for two hours. By the way, we had an amazing, fun time,” Maher said. “He’s a very charming antisemite. And by the way, he’s not the only one in America who feels that way. It’s not like the Jews are universally loved except for Kanye West.”
Maher said he believes West’s ability to stay afloat despite his past controversial comments is due to the younger audience being unaware of his impact on the Jewish community.
“The problem, I think, is that he appeals mostly — of course he’s a rock star — to young people,” Maher said. “They don’t know much and they surely don’t know much about the Middle East or Jews. So the combination of Kanye out there — I feel like he was helpful for spreading the fertilizer, and I do mean fertilizer, for this idea that Israel and the Jews are the worst people in the world.”
When TMZ founder Harvey Levin likened West’s actions to Adolf Hitler, Maher agreed, saying that’s the exact reason he didn’t air or publish the interview.
“Yes, exactly,” Maher said. “That’s why I wouldn’t air that episode, because I’m not going to contribute to this.”
TheWrap was unable to locate contact information for West’s reps. It was uncertain whether West still had representation.
West has made headlines several times for his bigoted remarks toward the Jewish community, with his most infamous comment being in a now-deleted tweet that said he would go “deathcon3” on all Jewish people, which led to brands like Adidas, Gap and Balenciago dropping him as a business partner. On Dec. 26, West posted to Instagram apologizing in Hebrew to the Jewish community.
“I sincerely apologize to the Jewish community for any ‘unintended outburst.’ It was not my intention to hurt or demean, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused,” the rapper wrote in the Instagram post, translated to English. “I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future.”
He continued: “Your forgiveness is important to me, and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity.”