Van Lathan and Kanye West created one of the most unforgettable events in pop culture after their exchange in the TMZ offices went viral. Kanye said “slavery was a choice,” Van responded with some choice words, and the internet did what the internet does.
In a recent interview with VladTv, Van Lathan addressed Ye’s controversial opinions and outrage-inducing remarks, saying Kanye isn’t about “free speech” at all.
When Vlad pointed to some of Yeezy’s more controversial outbursts, particularly his infamous “Drink Champ” statements, Van brushed them off. Though he called Kanye a “transcendent talent” and a “visionary creator” he asked, “is it worth digging through the s### to get to the jewels?”
“Some things have to do with the perception he has of himself,” he noted. “There are some things that have to do with how people treat him.” He referred to Kanye’s “Drink Champ” rants about his peers and Kanye’s need to be accepted as “great.”
Though he gave Kanye credit for his ability to “kick down the door” he remains troubled by Yeezy’s take on free speech.
“Kanye talks about free speech, right? He talks about the fact that he should be able to say whatever he wants to say, and that’s true,” said Lathan. “But he doesn’t seem to like other people’s free speech very much… Kanye doesn’t want free speech. What he actually wants is white speech.” According to Van Lathan, “white speech” is “saying whatever you want to say and there being absolutely zero repercussions for you saying it.”
He added, “That is how white people used to run America and talk to Black people in the days of old.”
Van Lathan Addresses That “Slavery Was A Choice” Comment
In another clip, Van reflected on that moment in the TMZ newsroom when Kanye made his remarks about slavery being “a choice.”
“He had said all kinds of crazy things up to that point…well, not crazy. Whatever you believe. His ideas or whatever. I think slavery being a choice is f###### crazy and disrespectful, but he had said all kinds of things and I was like, whatever. He asked. He asked my opinion, he asked the whole room. That was a challenge to me.”
Though he understood the point he added, “You can’t have them be your example of weakness because to me, they’re an example of strength.”
Meanwhile, Lathan used Kim Kardashian’s blossoming romance with Pete Davidson as an excuse to have a little dig at Kanye. He shared a picture of Kanye West, Timothée Chalamet, Pete Davidson, and Kid Cudi taken at Cudi’s birthday dinner back in 2019.
“Just remember, one man’s Turkey sandwich is the next man’s Turkey dinner,” he joked in the caption.