West has been embroiled in controversy over antisemitic comments he’s made in recent months, leading brands like Adidas, Gap and Balenciaga to cut ties with the rapper.
Appearing on Jones’s show on Thursday (1 December), the host attempted to defend the musician, saying: “You’re not Hitler, you’re not a Nazi, so you don’t deserve to be demonised.”
Instead of agreeing, West pushed back, saying: “Well, I see good things about Hitler also.”
He continued: “The Jews... I love everyone, and the Jewish people are not going to tell me, ‘You can love us and you can love what we are doing to you with the contracts, and you can love what we are pushing with the pornography,’ but this guy that invented highways, invented the very microphone that I use as a musician, you can’t say out loud that this person never did anything good and I am done with that.
“I am done with the classifications. Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
As the show cut to a commercial break, Jones told West that he did not like Nazis or Hitler, to which West shockingly replied: “I like Hitler.”
West – who has legally changed his name to Ye – later added: “They did good things too, we’ve got to stop dissing the Nazis all the time”, while also claiming that people have been made to believe that “the Nazis and Hitler have never offered anything of value to the world”.
West’s comments, more egregious than ever, were quickly condemned online.
Frozen star Josh Gad, who is Jewish, was among those to slate his remarks on Twitter.
“It’s not what Kanye West says that scares me,” the actor wrote. “It’s that he has 30 million followers who listen to his insanity on top of a cheerleader in the form of the current owner of this platform.
“No one who says ‘I love Hitler’ should be allowed any oxygen on any social platform (period).”
Writer and podcaster Touré tweeted: “This isn't about mental illness. Stop defending Kanye or having sympathy for him because he's bipolar... His virulent and repeated antisemitism isn't tied to that. This is who he is. And it's disgusting.”
NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III wrote: “Somebody tell Kanye to SHUT UP!!!”
Futurama star John DiMaggio wrote: “F*** Kanye, all day, everyday. What a piece of garbage.”
West has previously been criticised by many of his music industry peers, including Lizzo and John Legend, with Legend tweeting: “Weird how all these ‘free, independent thinkers’ always land at the same old anti blackness and antisemitism.”
His ex-wife Kim Kardashian also released a statement condemning “hate speech” against the Jewish community, although she never explicitly mentioned West.