With anti-Semitic omissions, Kanye West not only alienates fans, but also cooperation partners. According to the motto "Once the reputation is ruined ..." he now continues in an interview with the conspiracy ideologist Alex Jones where he recently left off on Twitter.
US rapper Kanye West, who has fallen into disrepute for anti-Semitic statements, has again caused outrage. "I like Hitler" and "I love Nazis," said the musician and fashion entrepreneur in an interview with the well-known far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. "I also see good things in Hitler." Shortly after that appearance, online right-wing network Parler announced that its proposed sale to West had been cancelled.
"This guy (...) invented highways and the microphone that I used as a musician," said the rapper, who changed his name to Ye and wore a black mask that covered his entire face for the interview. "You can't say out loud that this person has ever done anything good, and I don't take it anymore."
When Jones countered that the Nazis did "really bad things", West replied, "But they also did good things. We have to stop dissing the Nazis all the time. (...) I love Nazis." The well-known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes, with whom West had dinner with ex-President Donald Trump last week, was also present at the interview on Jones' platform "Infowars".
The rapper's statements immediately caused outraged reactions. The Republican Jewish Coalition, which sees itself as a bridge between the Republican Party and the Jewish community, described West as a "vile, vile fanatic who has targeted the Jewish community with threats and Nazi-style slander." West, Fuentes and Jones would form a "disgusting triumvirate of conspiracy theorists, Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites". The Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, said he was "disgusted" by the West interview. "At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, it is alarming that such vile rhetoric should be given a platform and legitimized."
West, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, has repeatedly made anti-Semitic remarks in the past. The German sporting goods manufacturer Adidas ended its collaboration with the 45-year-old in October with immediate effect after West made threats against Jews on Twitter. Other companies such as fashion brand Balenciaga have also ended their partnership with West.
West's statements were also met with outrage in online networks - in the midst of which Parler announced the end of his planned sale to the US rapper. This decision had already been made by mutual agreement "in mid-November", explained Parler's parent company, Parlement Technologies. West and Parler announced in mid-October that the rapper wanted to buy the right-wing online network founded in 2018. This has become particularly popular with Trump supporters. West justified his intention to buy with the fact that he wanted to defend freedom of expression – he was also apparently looking for a new platform after his entries on Instagram and Twitter had been deleted.
West, who has been married to reality TV star Kim Kardashian for years, recently caused irritation when he had dinner with Fuentes at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump has also come under fire from within his own ranks because of the encounter.
Former Vice President Mike Pence said what Trump did was "wrong". "I think he should apologize." Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said there was "no place for anti-Semitism and racism" in the party. Anyone who meets with anti-Semites and racists is "highly unlikely to ever be elected President of the United States." Trump announced in mid-November that he wanted to run again in the 2024 presidential election. Kanye West also says he wants to run for office.