On TMZ Live, Kanye West and Candace Owens discuss free thought and call slavery “a choice”

West called slavery “a choice,” while Owens minimized fatal police brutality, claimed neo-Nazis have “a right to ... not want a statue pulled down,” and called Christine Teigen “the most hateful person” on the internet

Rapper Kanye West brought along Talking Points USA’s Candace Owens for an hour-long interview on a special edition of TMZ Live. Owens is a far-right commentator who’s frequently appeared on conspiracy theory site Infowars and has made a career out of berating Dreamers -- people protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program -- and other immigrants, as well as dismissing the real dangers of white supremacy.

During the interview, West told host Charles Latibeaudiere that because slavery lasted 400 years, at some point it had become a choice for those enslaved:

KANYE WEST: But when you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You were there for 400 years and it is all of y'all? It is like we are mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks.

TMZ’s Van Lathan called out West for his comments and said he had “morphed into something … that’s not real”:

During the interview, Owens discussed white supremacy with Latibeaudiere and remained consistent to her past dismissals of neo-Nazis as a narrative created by the media. She claimed that the protesters at the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, had  “a right to show up and say they do not want a statue [of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee] pulled down”:

Owens also pushed the debunked right-wing media myth of the “Ferguson Effect,” which claims that cops are scared to do their jobs following Black Lives Matters’ protests, and that that has caused an increase in criminal activity. She went on to dismiss fatal police brutality as one of “the tiny issues” impacting the black community.

Toward the end of the hour, West accused former President Barack Obama of influencing an ongoing class war by being “so high-class that [he] stopped speaking to the middle and the lower class.” And Owens dismissed the hateful rhetoric among President Donald Trump’s supporters by claiming model Christine Teigen is “the most hateful person” she’s seen on the internet.