In a behind-the-scenes TikTok video posted by “The Daily Show,” host Trevor Noah shut down an audience member who asked him why he is beefing with Kanye West. An alleged beef between the two took place earlier this year after Noah condemned West for his incessant trolling of ex-wife Kim Kardashian on social media. West responded by directing a racial slur at Noah on Instagram, which led to West being temporarily banned on the platform for a day.
“Why am I beefing with Kanye? That’s an interesting way to phrase it because a beef has to go both ways,” Noah told the audience member. “Genuinely it does. In my limited understanding of the world, beef has always been something that generally will happen between two hip hop artists. I’ve never beefed with Kanye West. I was concerned about Kanye West.”
West has courted controversy over the last few weeks for making racist and antisemitic comments in various interviews. West has said during past controversial media blitzes that he struggles with mental illness, which has led to people defending West this time around regarding his antisemitic comments. Noah did not specifically address West’s latest comments, but he did question why the media is continuing to give West a platform when it’s known that he has mental health issues.
“If somebody says to me that they have a mental health issue,” Noah said, “and they say to everyone that when they don’t take their medication they’re unable to control themselves, and then everyone ignores when that person is having an episode and they haven’t taken the medication, and then they platform the person and then they put them up…I sometimes think it’s a little shitty, to be honest with you.”
“My grandfather was bipolar,” Noah continued. “I’m not saying Kanye is. I’m just saying my grandfather was bipolar, and one thing we knew was when he was having one of his episodes. He could act in a certain way and could do certain things…but our job was to support him. It would be weird if I was there going, ‘Oh, my grandfather’s having an episode again. I’m going viral tonight!’ I think it’s a little bit strange.”
“I don’t have beef with a human being who has expressed openly that they’re dealing with a mental health issue. I don’t have beef with that human being,” Noah said. “What I have beef with is us as society not coming together around the person and going like, ‘Hey, maybe this is not the moment to put a microphone in your face so that you just go off saying everything.’ If this is what you want to say when you’re on your medication, then that’s a different story. But because you’ve told us that, I’m not going to sit by and say that.”
Noah concluded by saying he has “never had beef” with Kanye West, adding, “I’m still playing ‘College Dropout.’ I’m still playing the music. I still love the man that I think he is. And I understand that he’s gone through a lot, you know, and I don’t take that for granted. But I’ve promised myself I’ll never be the person who just sits by and gleefully says things about people that I care about and then also joins the group of mourners afterwards and acts like I wasn’t part of it. Too many people like to mourn you when you’re dead and they don’t say anything to you when you’re alive. So I don’t know where to end. But that’s it.”
The TikTok below is not the first time Noah has addressed his relationship with West. During an August 2022 interview on Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast, the host spoke about why he decided to make public comments about West’s behavior in the first place.
“I’ve just become more comfortable speaking my mind in situations where I feel like the mob forgets that we’re dealing with human beings,” Noah said at the time. “It’s easy to stand on the sidelines, see a train crash coming and say nothing about it. And then after the train crashes off the tracks, we say, ‘Oh, I saw that coming!’ Well, then why didn’t you say anything? Especially if you have some sort of platform, you have some sort of obligation to speak a truth. You know, see something and say some thing.”
Noah’s latest comments followed Howard Stern’s viral reaction to West’s antisemitic comments. Stern compared West to Hitler and criticized West’s defenders who say the rapper has mental health issues.
“Fuck this mental illness, self defense thing that he’s into,” Stern said. “You know, like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s just mentally ill. Don’t worry about it…’ If he’s so mentally ill, why don’t they appoint a conservator over his money like they did with the poor Britney Spears?”
Watch “The Daily Show” TikTok in the video below.