As his business empire crumbles due to a recent string of antisemitic comments, Kanye West continued to lean into hateful antisemitic rhetoric this week in a two-and-a-half hour interview with MIT research scientist Lex Fridman. The interview between the two men, who Ye (as the rapper/entrepreneur is now known) described as “friends,” included inflammatory, unsubstantiated claims about abortion, Planned Parenthood and what West described as a conspiracy by “Jewish doctors” to medicate and sedate him.
“We are still in the Holocaust. A Jewish friend of mine said, ‘Go visit the Holocaust Museum,’ and my response was, let’s visit our Holocaust Museum: Planned Parenthood,” West said, echoing his past offensive claims about Planned Parenthood while once again amplifying his antisemitic commentary while speaking to Fridman, a Soviet Union-born Jewish podcaster who noted during the chat that some of his family members were killed by Nazis during the Holocaust.
West then appeared to downplay the atrocities of the Holocaust by noting that while six million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, “over 20 million have died by the hands of abortion,” claiming that the phrase “my body, my choice” is a “ promotion” for Planned Parenthood.
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood had no comment on West’s statements at press time. While there is not verifiable support for West’s claims about abortion, a 2021 national survey from In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda reported that 80% of Black Americans say abortion should be legal, regardless of their personal views.
Undeterred, West added, “Fifty percent of Black deaths a year is actually abortion. It’s not the cop with the knee, it’s not Black-on-Black violence and gang violence, not heart attacks, it’s actually abortion. The most dangerous place for a Black person in America is in their mother’s stomach.”
Later, West repeated his unsubstantiated claim about abortion and Black deaths by adding in an anti-Semitic bent as well, saying, “It’s not racism; that’s too wide of a term. It’s genocide and population control that Black people are in today in America, that is promoted by the music and the media that Black people make, that Jewish record labels get paid off of.”
Fridman pushed back on West’s continued use of the phrase “Jewish media” — which the Anti-Defamation League reported has led to some anti-Semitic groups embracing the hate speech and “further[ing] their own agendas and [inspiring] new propaganda campaigns — by saying that the use of the term creates an “echo of a pain that people feel,” comparing it to statements made by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. He also noted that any individuals who may have “f—ed over” West during his years in the music business are “individuals, they’re not Jews.”
West pushed back, insisting “They are Jewish,” as Fridman countered that they are “humans with opportunities, and they took those opportunities. I don’t care if they’re Jewish.”
Over the weekend, demonstrators in Los Angeles unfurled a banner on an overpass praising Ye’s antisemitic rants that read, “Kanye is right about the Jews.” Fridman also refused to accept West’s smiling claim that the phrase “Jewish media” is a “redundant statement,” comparing its use to that of the N-word, even as West again insisted that he is “Jew,” though not “Jewish, ” which he said translated to “like that of a Jew.”
West also repeated his claim that he cannot be anti-Semitic because he is Jewish during a digression into the history of Jewish slavery in Egypt. “If Jewish people would accept that I’m a Jew, they’d hear it a different way,” Ye said as Fridman suggested that “the right thing is not to say there’s Jewish control of the media.” West, however, pushed further, blaming what he described as a Jewish conspiracy that led to his being diagnosed with a mental illness; in a 2018 interview, West, 45, said he was diagnosed with a mental illness, which ex-wife Kim Kardashian said was bipolar disease, and which the rapper then said is “not a disability, it’s a superpower.”
“There was a Jewish trainer that brought me to the hospital, and put in [the] press that I went to the hospital. A Jewish doctor that diagnosed me,” West said as Fridman again asked why he kept hammering down on the fact that the doctor was Jewish. “Because they were,” West told him. “Diagnosed me with bipolar disorder and shot me with medication. Then put it in the press… and every time, even if I wore a wrong-colored hat that an—er is not supposed to wear, right, then they immediately say, ‘he’s off his s–t, he’s off his meds, he’s off his rocker.’ And it’s literally used as a scarlet letter control mechanism.”
West’s recent run of controversial interviews, as well as his promotion of his “White Lives Matter” T-shirt, has led to the crumbling of his business empire. Adidas is the latest former corporate partner to cut ties with Ye over his offensive comments, saying in a statement on Tuesday (Oct. 25): “Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
Ye was also suspended from Twitter and Instagram this month over antisemitic posts that the social networks said violated their policies. His most recent controversial statements have led to talent agency, CAA dropping him, and MRC studio announcing on Monday that it is shelving a complete documentary about the rapper.
In addition, Women’s Wear Daily reported that fashion house Balenciaga cut ties with West last week, and his bank, JPMorganChase said they’ve ended their business relationship with Ye. The company said its move came weeks before Ye’s recent barrage of antisemitic slurs.
When Fridman suggested Ye stop amplifying false narratives about alleged Jewish control of the media, West responded, “That’s incorrect though! That’s af—ing lie,” claiming that “they” bullied him in reference to Jewish people. In the midst of his recitation of antisemitic tropes, West lashed out at billionaire Democratic fundraiser and philanthropist George Soros — a frequent target of conservatives and Republican politicians — claiming that he would “use the Black trauma economy to win an election.”
The rapper — who is the founder of a private religious academy — also went on a bizarre conspiracy tangent about how history and race should not be taught in schools, because, “what schools are doing is exactly what the CIA does with Pixar films and Disney films: they make Bambi’s mom die at the beginning,” said Ye, who has recently noted in interviews his ire about being identified as a rapper and not also as a business mogul and entrepreneur. “And off that bread comes a purchase of ice cream. Off that pain comes, ‘I need some more toys’ … they put that pain in to make us … now we’re the orphans of capitalism, to make us be consumers and we need to be a community, not just consumers.”
Asked at one point what he loves the most about his ex-wife Kardashian, West said “she’s a mix of [late father] Robert [Kardashian] and Kris [Jenner] … two geniuses … certain people have high DNA … Ivanka Trump has high DNA.”
In light of his hate speech, Kardashian — and sister Khloe — have condemned that hurtful rhetoric, which West admitted to Fridman has cost him dearly.
“I lost my f—ing family. I lost my kids. I lost my best friend in fashion. I lost the Black community,” he said, jokingly adding shots at Coca-Cola and McDonald’s while claiming he’s able to speak his mind because he has “God’s protection.”
“People said I lost my mind,” he went on, accusing Ari Emanuel of “trying to take food out of my children’s mouth” after the William Morris Endeavor CEO wrote an op-ed in the FinancialTimes this week urgent companies to split with West. “I lost my reputation. And I’m up here just like, I just want my family. But I don’t want my family to have to say what the left wants it to say, to have to say what China wants it to say. I want to be an American and protect my kids and protect my wife, and raise my kids as Christians, and have my wife be a Christian.”
Check out the interview below.