Bill Maher said he put the kibosh on an interview with Ye – the mercurial rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who has been repeatedly accused of antisemitic rhetoric.
According to the HBO “Real Time” host, he sat down with Ye for two hours to record a segment for a “Club Random” podcast, but Maher’s audience won’t hear it.
The 68-year-old funnyman told TMZ he and the “very charming antisemite” had a fun chat. But Maher decided broadcasting their discussion would make him complicit in “spreading the fertilizer” that demonizes Jews and Israelis. He worries about emboldening other bigots.
“That’s why I wouldn’t air that episode,” Maher said. “I’m not going to contribute to this.”
Maher didn’t tell TMZ when he interviewed Ye or what specifically was said. It’s also unclear what changed after November 2022, when Maher told the Daily News Ye was one person he had no interest in interviewing.
“Antisemitism is wildly on the march — not that it’s ever been out of vogue in this world,” Maher told the News by phone. “In this atmosphere, we just don’t want to add any fuel to this fire … I am not going to aid and abet any of that.”
Ye’s public acts of anti-Jewish activity included a November 2022 visit to Mar-a-Lago where Ye brought holocaust skeptic Nick Fuentes to dine with 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump.
When asked if he could see Ye as Trump’s running mate at the time, Maher laughed off the idea.
“There’s too much ego for one ticket on there,” he said.
Ye posted an online apology to the Jewish community in December for “any unintended outburst caused by (his) words or actions.”
Maher’s representatives haven’t responded to a request for comment.