A former TMZ staffer said he was unsurprised by Kanye West's troubling antisemitic language recently, claiming the rapper made comments praising "Hitler and the Nazis" in a previous, edited interview at the celebrity gossip site.
Van Lathan, the host of the Higher Learning podcast, said West sat down with TMZ for an interview and claimed the rapper said he "loved Hitler and the Nazis." According to Mr Lathan, that portion was cut out of the interview.
“I’ve already heard him say that stuff before,” the podcaster said. “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."
According to Hip Hop DX, Mr Lathan said he pushed back against West's comments, but the segment was ultimately removed.
“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.’ What I say after that — if I can remember, it’s been a long time — was, ’12 million 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 said.
The podcaster also said a Jewish TMZ staffer stood up to West when he made the comments.
“One of the producers at TMZ actually stood up and said, ‘I’m Jewish and that is offensive to me what you just said,'" he recalled.
Mr Lathan said West's recent comments, which included a Twitter post in which he threatened to go "death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE," and claiming that rapper Diddy was being controlled by Jewish people, were not shocking.
“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," he said.
Mr Lathan's revelations come at the same time that an episode of LeBron James' HBO show The Shop: Uninterrupted announced it was pulling an upcoming episode featuring West.
Maverick Carter, James' business partner, announced in a statement that the episode would not air due to antisemitic remarks West allegedly made during the taping.
“Kanye was booked weeks ago and, after talking to Kanye directly the day before we taped, I believed he was capable of a respectful discussion and he was ready to address all his recent comments. Unfortunately, he used The Shop to reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes,” Mr Carter said. “We have made the decision not to air this episode or any of Kanye’s remarks. While The Shop embraces thoughtful discourse and differing opinions, we have zero tolerance for hate speech of any kind and will never allow our channels to be used to promote hate.”
West's Twitter and Instagram accounts have been locked for hate speech violations of the platforms' community guidelines.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies