Kanye Allegedly Professed His 'Love' for Hitler During 'Slavery Was a Choice' TMZ Interview

TMZ ex-staffer Van Lathan Jr. made the claim in the latest episode of the 'Higher Learning' podcast, recalling that West "said that stuff and they took it out."

Kanye wearing a hat facing left

Image via Getty/Ricky Vigil M/GC Images

Kanye wearing a hat facing left

Van Lathan Jr. says he wasn’t surprised by Kanye’s antisemitic comments.

The media personality addressed the topic during the latest episode of the Ringer podcast Higher Learning, saying he heard West make similar remarks during his infamous TMZ appearance back in 2018, where the artist shared his opinion that slavery was a “choice.” Lathan, who was working for the outlet at the time, recalled to co-host Rachel Lindsay that Kanye professed his “love” for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis; however, those statements were edited out of the final video.

“I already heard him say that stuff before at TMZ,” Van said about West’s recent comments about Jewish people at the 20-minute mark below. “I mean, I was taken aback because that type of antisemitic talk is disgusting. It’s like, I’m taken aback any time anyone does that, right? But as far as [West], I knew that that was in him because when he came to TMZ, he said that stuff and they took it out of the interview.”

Lathan continued, “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, actually, ‘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.”

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Lathan pointed out that the “12 million people” part was taken out of the final cut.

“The reason they took it 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 when he was there. And they took it out of the interview for whatever reason. It wasn’t my decision.”

The Higher Learning episode comes days after Instagram and Twitter restricted West’s accounts over posts that were widely considered antisemitic. Last week the multi-hyphenate shared a text exchange in which he suggested Diddy was being controlled by Jewish people. Kanye post stemmed from Diddy’s criticism of the “White Lives Matter” shirt that West debuted during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. 

Shortly after Kanye posted the text messages, Instagram confirmed it had restricted his verified account, prompting the Donda artist to take to Twitter. Shortly after returning to the social media platform, West tweeted he would go “death con [sic] 3 on Jewish people” in response to the backlash. Twitter locked his account soon after.

Kanye faced more controversy following his interview on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he propagated anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and antisemitic tropes about greed and money. Many suspect he made similar comments during his recent appearance on The Shop. The series’ co-host Maverick Carter confirmed the episode would not air due to Kanye’s hate speech.

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,” Carter said in a statement. “I take full responsibility for believing Kanye wanted a different conversation and apologize to our guests and crew. Hate speech should never have an audience.”

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