In this combination photo Kanye West speaks at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Aug. 28, 2016, left, and Stevie Wonder attends the TIDAL X: Brooklyn 3rd Annual Benefit Concert in New York on Oct. 17, 2017. Wonder has called out West for saying slavery is a “choice,” calling the idea “foolishness” likening it to Holocaust denial. Wonder brought up West without prompting during an interview Thursday, May 10, 2018, after a show at a West Hollywood club. (AP Photo)
The Associated Press
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.
Stevie Wonder has called out Kanye West for saying slavery is a choice, calling the idea "foolishness" and likening it to Holocaust denial.
Wonder brought up West without prompting during an interview Thursday after a show at a West Hollywood club.
"There's been a lot of talk about what was said by Kanye," Wonder said. "I want people to understand that the truth is the truth and a lie is a lie.
"We all know that slavery was not a choice," he went on. "So I just think that people need to understand that if you know your history, if you know the truth, you know that's just foolishness."
Wonder said saying slavery is a choice is like saying the Holocaust is not real.
West made the remarks May 1 in an interview with TMZ.
"When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years, that sounds like choice," West said.
He defended his statements and did not back down from them on Twitter after widespread criticism.
An email to his representatives seeking a response to Wonder's comments was not immediately returned.
Wonder spoke softly, not angrily, and said he also felt sympathy for West, especially over the rapper losing his mother, who died after having cosmetic surgery procedures in 2007.
"You know he lost his mother, the horrible thing that happened," Wonder said. "I don't know if he had a chance to really mourn about all that."