Trevor Noah defended Kanye West against opponents this week, explaining why he criticized the decision to ban the rapper from performing at the Grammys earlier this year when the comedian hosted.
“People are a paradox,” the Daily Show host said on the Awards Circuit podcast Thursday. “We can love people we hate, we can hate people we love. The human being as a whole is a complicated paradox. And so I don’t like living in a world where we constantly throw people away as pieces of garbage.”
Noah ran into West before the Grammy Awards in April, when the rapper racially taunted him on social media after the host accused him of “harassing” his ex Kim Kardashian on a “Daily Show” segment.
The Grammys banned West from performing after his Instagram post, but the comedian, who hosted the awards, tweeted in March that he had nothing to do with the decision, saying he’d asked the Recording Academy “to advise Kanye not to to cancel”.
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“I just feel more comfortable speaking my mind in situations where I feel like the crowd forgets we’re dealing with people,” Noah said in the podcast. “It’s easy to stand on the sidelines, see a train accident coming and not say anything about it. And then after the train falls off the rails, we say, ‘Oh, I saw that one coming!’ “Well, then why didn’t you say anything? Especially if you have some kind of platform, you kind of have an obligation to tell the truth. You know, seeing something and saying something.”
He said the rapper made an “indelible impression” on him and that his music helped him through different periods in his life.
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“But then there are also times when I go, like, ‘Man, Kanye, you, you’re going to derail here.’ But I can still say, “I care about you as a human being, that’s why I’m speaking out. I’m not going to care about you, I’m not going to hate you all of a sudden.” ‘ That’s how I try to see the world, that’s how I hope people would see me.”
He spoke out against the cancellation culture in the interview, saying that everyone should have the opportunity to “cash in” for themselves.
“I think we’ve found it very easy to throw people out, throw them out immediately and make them irreparable characters,” he said. “While in fact I think we should all have the chance to redeem ourselves. We should all have the chance to redeem.”
West has been widely criticized for his rhetoric against Kardashian and her ex-boyfriend Pete Davidson after West and Kardashian broke up. His latest controversial comment came in a since-deleted Instagram post in which he jokingly stated via a fake New York Times front page that Davidson was “dead at age 28” after the “Saturday Night Live” alum broke up. with Kardashian.
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West has made other comments that seem to indicate violence against Davidson, including a music video from earlier this year where he rapped about beating “Pete Davidson’s a…”. In the video, an animated version of West kidnaps and buries an animated Davidson alive.