“We were here for two hours. By the way, we had an amazing, fun time,” Maher, 68, said on the Monday, February 5, episode of TMZ Investigates. “He’s a very charming antisemite. And by the way, he’s not the only one in America who feels that way. It’s not like the Jews are universally loved except for Kanye West.”
Maher added he thought chatting with West, 46, would have been a “learning moment,” but after sitting down with the musician, Maher decided he did not want to “contribute” to the situation and ultimately axed the podcast.
The comedian’s decision came ahead of the release of West’s forthcoming collaborative album with Ty Dolla $ign, Vultures, which is set to drop on February 9 after multiple delays.
Vultures already sparked controversy long before its release. In the title track, which premiered late last year, West raps, “How I’m antisemitic? I just f–ked a Jewish bitch / I just f–ked Scooter [Braun]’s bitch.” Fans have also pointed out that the album artwork features a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, a Romantic-era German landscape painter who was favored by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
West has previously addressed his history of making antisemetic comments. In December 2023, the musician shared a message via Instagram that was written entirely in Hebrew. “I sincerely apologize to the Jewish community for any ‘unintended outburst’ caused by my words or actions,’” he noted, adding that it “was not my intention to hurt or demean, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused. I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future.”
He continued, “Your forgiveness is important to me and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity.”
Days before issuing the apology, West claimed during a lengthy rant at a Las Vegas listening party that “Zionists” control private schools and hospitals, shouting, “It’s 60 million of us in America, 60 million Jews in the world.”
West previously faced backlash in October 2022 after declaring via X that he was going “death con 3 [sic] on JEWISH PEOPLE.” West later appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored to address the scandal, admitting to causing “hurt and confusion” and apologizing to “the families of the people that had nothing to do with the trauma that I had been through.”
Two months later, West said on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s Info Wars show that he saw “good things about Hitler” and claimed, “We gotta stop dissing the Nazis all the time.”