Mike Myers: Kanye West "Spoke Truth" About Hurricane Katrina Injustices
Better late than never! Nine years after Mike Myers had an infamous interaction with Kanye West, the actor is finally speaking out on the incident.
In September of 2005, the unlikely duo of Myers and West teamed up to support the victims of Hurricane Katrina in a NBC relief concert. The pair presented together, when the rapper decided to go off-script and speak his piece.
Myers, 50, who said at the time he "wasn't familiar with [West's] work," explained in a new interview with GQ that West "said he was going to take some liberties with the thing."
He famously called out the injustices in the relief efforts for the New Orleans hurricane in a rant that culminated with the unforgettable line, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Unprepared for said words, Myers looked surprised next to West. "For me it isn't about the look of embarrassment on my face, it is truly about the injustice that was happening in New Orleans," he told GQ. "I'm the guy next to the guy who spoke a truth. I assume that George Bush does care about black people—I mean I don't know him, I'm going to make that assumption—but I can definitively say that it appeared to me watching television that had that been white people, the government would have been there faster."
"I remember just being so upset and feeling, ironically, that if this was white people on roofs, the army would be there in five seconds," the Canadian-born comic said. "And these are my fellow citizens, who just happen to be people of color, sitting on roofs for multiple days."
"To me that's really the point—the look on my face is, to me, almost insulting to the true essence of what went down in New Orleans," Myers continued. "To have the emphasis on the look on my face versus the fact that somebody spoke truth to power at a time when somebody needed to speak? I'm very proud to have been next to him."
For his part, West said in 2010 that he may not have chosen the right words at the time. "I would say of George Bush, in my moment of frustration, I didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist," he explained. "But I believe that in a situation of high emotion like that, we as human beings don’t always choose the right words."
The former President addressed the accusation in his memoir, Decision Points. "I faced a lot of criticism as president," he wrote. "I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low."