Kanye West is “dangerous” and “perpetuating stereotypes and violence”, David Baddiel has told Sky News.
It comes after West told far-right broadcaster Alex Jones during an interview that he liked Adolf Hitler, the man responsible for the mass extermination of Jewish people in the Second World War.
The musician later tweeted a picture of a swastika, leading to another ban on the platform.
Speaking to Sky News, Baddiel, a comedian and writer who campaigns against antisemitism, said West is “dangerous”.
“It’s dangerous because Kanye has a lot of followers,” he said.
“People love Kanye because he’s an incredible musician and a very big figure, and so… what he says continues to be taken seriously and what he’s saying is dangerous to Jews because it implies that… there’s this idea that Jews are somehow, and obviously this is what the Nazis believed, that Jews are subhuman.
“That Jews are somehow eating away at the fabric of society and are able to control and manipulate the rest of humanity in a way that makes them alien.”
Baddiel added: “What that leads to is the killing of Jews, and led to obviously the killing of Jews during the war, but it leads to the modern killing of Jews.
“The point is, it’s a direct real world link between someone very powerful with a very large platform perpetuating those stereotypes and that violence.”
Kanye West is ‘not listening’
The comedian also told Sky News he believes there is no point trying to debate West on the issues, saying “he’s not listening” to others.
“I guess the problem is with Kanye is that he is always going to be given a platform,” he explained.
“Like, Alex Jones, the InfoWars guy, is cutting him off. Then clearly he’s saying things that are very ridiculously dangerous, because Alex Jones himself says a lot of terribly dangerous and terrible things.
“But the internet now means that if Kanye doesn’t say it there, he’ll say it somewhere else. He would always be given a platform, and because he’s Kanye, those things will always be amplified.
“I personally would think there would be no point in going into a conversation with Kanye because he’s not listening.
“He’s got his mad and dangerous views, and he just wants to have them. He’s not a person I think you can debate with.”
Conspiracy theories about Jewish people a ‘worldwide problem’
Baddiel, who has recently made a documentary on antisemitism, also said that conspiracy theories about Jewish people are not confined to the US, saying it is a “worldwide problem”.
“You can basically point to almost any conspiracy theory, and at the end of it will be ‘it was the Jews’,” he said.
“And the reason for that is that people who believe in conspiracy theories, they want to have, at heart, a kind of super villain idea that they’ve discovered who controls the world.
“It comes back to… this idea that… Jews are powerful – and Jews are not powerful.
“The Jewish history is a long catalogue of disempowerment, but nonetheless, people have this imagination that Jews are powerful – and it leads to a whole raft of conspiracy theories which are very popular in America, but very much gaining ground here, that it’s okay to fight back, to punch back against Jews, which would not be okay with any other minority.”
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He added: “I will be told by people who don’t consider themselves in any way antisemitic, ‘well it doesn’t really matter about saying bad things about Jews because Jews are rich and Jews can take it’.
“And that actually, that might not seem to them very dangerous, but it’s on a complete continuum with the idea that ‘Jews control the banks and Jews control all the money, and they control the world, and that’s why we need to destroy them’.
“So what I guess I’ve been trying to do by talking about this is alert people to what you might call their unconscious biases, which in the end, through conspiracy theories and through the things that people like Kanye say, leads to a very bad place indeed.”