According to guests from the live taping of Kanye West’s appearance on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman in 2019, the rapper blamed Rihanna for being a victim of domestic violence and referenced Nazis. These comments were reportedly edited out of the version of the interview that Netflix published.
“It was shocking to see that Kanye West could share harmful alt-right beliefs, conspiracy theory after conspiracy and misogynistic beliefs about women for the majority of the interview and end up with an edit that removed all those items in favor of celebrity fluff content,” Noah Reich, a guest at the show taping told TheWrap in a new report.
Rihanna was publicly a victim of domestic abuse in 2009 to then-boyfriend R&B singer Chris Brown.
During Ye’s interview, the rapper allegedly said that she must have done something to “deserve” what happened to her. The Yeezy founder then went on to make comments about the #MeToo Movement which started as a viral hashtag about that turned into a social movement against sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and rape culture.
“Chris Brown’s career is basically over and you have Rihanna and everyone took her side. She must have done something to merit what happened to her,” David Maldonado, another live in-studio guest at the time, reportedly recalled Ye saying.
Both Reich and Maldonado reportedly heard that West spoke about an unnamed music executive friend who had been “MeToo-ed,”–whom Reich and Maldonado suspected was R. Kelly, according to The Wrap — and that Ye was worried that it would happen to him. Reich then repeatedly heard Ye reference a Hollywood power structure that he suggested was behind the #MeToo Movement, which he reportedly said struck him as a reference to Jewish people.
Additionally, West allegedly complained about liberals treating anyone in a red “Make America Great Again” hat as if “they were Nazis.”
Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, Inc., producer of My Next Guest, told The Wrap in a written statement that the series was an “edited conversation show.” Ye’s interview was edited down to 55 minutes after being shot for more than five hours over two days.
“Nearly four years ago, in an interview for ‘My Next Guest,’ Kanye West discussed a wide range of topics with David Letterman, including, family, fatherhood, music and creativity. Kanye also told Dave that he had just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder six months earlier, which led to a personal discussion about mental illness, its stigma and treatment, and for the first time he talked about what he experiences when he has bipolar episodes,” the production company stated.
“Mr. West subsequently began an offensive rant about the MeToo movement. He also later spoke about liberals purportedly bullying Trump supporters, and about free speech being suppressed. These points were represented in the show, the producers went to great lengths to accurately present them, and Dave challenged him on each of these.”
Worldwide Pants who is one of two production companies of the talk show additionally stated that “unfounded attacks on specific individuals are not included out of privacy, accuracy and legal concerns.”
A Netflix spokesperson reportedly agreed with the production company’s statement saying “the episode was edited for time and that producers tried to accurately represent the conversation and the variety of issues addressed, including the rapper’s views about the #MeToo movement and his belief that the media are biased and intolerant.”