Kanye held SNL cast ‘hostage’ during unaired rant
KENAN Thompson's 16th season on Saturday Night Live kicked off with something of a head scratch this weekend, thanks in part to Kanye West's closing, pro-Trump comments.
West, wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat and the show's cast standing behind him, was booed by the crowd as he launched into the speech off-camera, but it was caught on video by comedian Chris Rock.
Variety reported that SNL cast members shook their heads during West's unscripted rant and "the entire studio fell dead quiet".
"He voiced his opinion, very loudly, for a long time," Thompson recalled on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
"We're all entitled to our opinion, but you know, I don't know if that's the moment, necessarily, to hold people hostage like that, but hey."
Following the opening monologue, the comedian said he got to "watch the circus unfold" from afar, as West brought the cast on stage after his performance. Thompson, who preferred to watch the musical act on TV, was happy he stayed backstage.
"As soon as he said, 'Hey, join me up on stage everybody,' I was like, 'Oh, there goes the little cheese in the mousetrap.' It's going down," Thompson said. "I felt so bad for those guys, because it's hard to stand there and not be able to debate somebody who is going so far against your personal opinion, and just stand there and take it."
He continued, "We are fair. We're in a service business, we try to cater to the host, make sure they have a good show and what not, and then when musical guests come in and they're a little bit crazy, maybe they're a little bit crazy, we let them have that. But we don't judge, we're not there to judge."
West received a flurry of boos inside the studio in response to his rant supporting President Trump.
"There are so many times I talk to like a white person about this and they say, 'How could you like Trump? He's racist.' Well, if I was concerned about racism I would've moved out of America a long time ago," West said.
While Trump, 70, applauded West's remarks and slammed SNL, the Yeezy mastermind later called for the abolition of the 13th amendment before clarifying his remarks.
"Not abolish but. let's amend the 13th amendment," West tweeted afterwards. "We apply everyone's opinions to our platform."
"There's nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn't know history, doesn't read books, and frames their myopia as virtue," the actor wrote alongside a retweet of West's post.
"The level of unapologetic conjecture I've encountered lately isn't just frustrating, it's retrogressive, unprecedented and absolutely terrifying."
This story originally appeared in the NY Post and is republished here with permission.