In the June issue of GQ magazine, Mike Myers mentioned that West’s critique of the former president during a 2005 telethon to support the victims of Hurricane Katrina was one that hit home. So much so that the actor said he was “super proud” to have been next to West at that moment.
“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,” Myers told GQ about the incident. “I don’t mind answering the question but the emphasis of it being that 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.”
Myers admitted that he “actually wasn’t familiar with” West’s work at the time he was paired with West for the telethon. Nevertheless, the rap star hinted what was to come by telling Myers that “he was going to take some liberties with the thing.”
West’s liberties are well-known as he addressed media coverage of Hurricane Katrina (“If you see a black family, it says they’re looting; see a white family, it says they’re looking for food”) and gave his thoughts on Bush.
One month after the telethon, Myers and West reunited on “Saturday Night Live.” Aside from a 2010 interview with Matt Lauer, West has remained silent on what he said at the telethon.
“I would tell George Bush in my moment of frustration, I didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist,” West told Lauer. “I believe that in a situation of high emotion like that we as human beings don’t always choose the right words.”
West’s critique didn’t go unnoticed by Bush, who cited the lyricist in his 2010 memoir. According to the former commander-in-chief, West’s comments represented an “all-time low” of his presidency.
For more about Mike Myers’ interview with GQ, check out the video below: