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Kanye West Isn’t Apologizing For Calling Slavery “A Choice”

Kanye West has been making headlines for weeks with his provocative tweets, whether by expressing his admiration for Donald Trump or announcing two new albums this summer. But it was his surprise appearance on TMZ Live today that may have crossed a line with many of his fans.

In the interview, he talked about a variety of things, including getting hooked on opioids after undergoing liposuction, and his love for “my boy” Trump. But it was his comments about slavery that sparked immediate outrage.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sound like a choice...It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.”  

TMZ staffer Van Lathan spoke up, saying “Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion. You’re entitled to believe whatever you want. But there is fact and real-life consequence behind everything that you just said. While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years that you said for our people was a ‘choice.’ Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled, and brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real.”

Despite apologizing to Lathan in the TMZ newsroom, West later took to Twitter to defend his statements.

The outcry from Twitter was swift and intense, with many verified accounts decrying his comments and celebrating Lathan’s level-headed, articulate response.